You may have noticed something new in Portland this month. The new “by-request” policy kicked in on October 1st and it’s pretty simple. Portland businesses won’t automatically include plastic straws, stirrers, utensils or individually packaged condiments with your order, but those items are available by request. The goal is to reduce plastic waste. You don’t have to look far to see single-use plastic items on the sidewalks, streets and gutters, and those end up in the waterways. People often mistakenly put them in the recycling, where they don’t belong. Plus switching to “by-request”, customers don’t end up with disposables they don’t want or need.