The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Trump Campaign Is Selling Plastic Straws to ‘Make Straws Great Again’
The campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump has found a new way to troll liberals and sea turtles.
"Liberal paper straws don't work. STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today," the straws' description reads.
Parscale further promoted the straws in an email Friday titled "Make Straws Great Again," NPR reported.
"I'm so over paper straws, and I'm sure you are too. Much like most liberal ideas, paper straws don't work and they fall apart instantly. That's why we just launched our latest product—Official Trump Straws," Parscale wrote. "Now you can finally be free from liberal paper straws that fall apart within minutes and ruin your drink."
Calls to ban plastic straws increased after a video of a turtle with a straw stuck up its nose went viral. Cities like Seattle have passed restrictions, and companies including Starbucks have vowed to phase them out. California became the first state to ban them in sit-down restaurants last September.
But conservatives aren't the only ones who have expressed frustration with the paper alternatives, which tend to become unusable as the liquid permeates them, NPR pointed out. Journalists across the political spectrum have complained about them on social media. For some people with disabilities, the flexibility and heat resistance of plastic straws are more than just a convenience: They enable people with mobility issues to hydrate on their own and drink independently when dining out.
When asked about straw bans on Friday, Trump gave an answer that was "oddly reasonable," according to The Guardian.
"I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws," Trump answered. "You know, it's interesting about plastic straws: so, you have a little straw, but what about the plates, the wrappers, and everything else that are much bigger and they're made of the same material? So, the straws are interesting. Everybody focuses on the straws. There's a lot of other things to focus on. But it's an–it's an interesting question."
Plastic straws only account for about one percent of the plastic in the oceans, according to Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions co-director Jim Leape. The oft-cited statistic that Americans use 500 million straws a day was downgraded to between 170 - 390 million straws a day, according to market research firms cited in a New York Times article fact-checking the higher claim.
But Trump's uncharacteristically nuanced response seems to run against the tone his campaign manager was trying to set, The Guardian wrote, noting that Parscale was exploiting the straws' emerging position as a cultural-war battleground. Last summer, conservatives began taking defiant selfies of themselves drinking from plastic straws.
Some have joked that the Trump campaign's latest attempt to "own the libs" has become something of a self-own. That's because the straws sold by the Trump campaign, which are recyclable, BPA-free, U.S. made and laser engraved, also cost $1.50 per straw. The Washington Post noted that they are much more expensive than other plastic straw options on the market. Even extra-thick, reusable straws sell on Amazon for around $8 per pack of 12 to 30.
"Paying $1.50 a straw to own the libs," ProPublica journalist Jessica Huseman tweeted, as USA Today reported.
Despite the cost, the straws proved popular with Trump supporters. Republican National Committee spokesperson Elizabeth Harrington tweeted Friday that they had sold out.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.
The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
By George Citroner
- Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
- Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
- Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.
Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.