Of all the single-use plastics that we use and throw away, straws may be one of the easiest “gateway” plastics to go without.

That’s why VPIRG has launched a Straws Upon Request Pledge – a statewide effort to reduce the number of single-use plastic straws used and thrown away in Vermont.

It’s pretty straightforward: food and beverage establishments that take the pledge will make straws available to their customers only upon request. To date, more than 30 businesses from all across the state have signed on.

Meanwhile, beyond Vermont’s borders we’re seeing many others work to tackle this issue. Numerous restaurants and municipalities across the country have established similar “straws upon request” policies, and cities such as Seattle, Vancouver, and Malibu have already banned plastic straws. New York City could soon follow suit.

While VPIRG will continue to pursue efforts to encourage individuals and businesses to reject plastic straws — we’ll also advocate for policies to decrease pollution from single-use plastic straws.