As California and other places around the country implement bans on plastic drinking straws, the Trump 2020 campaign is taking a different approach.
The campaign is now selling “Trump Straws” in packs of 10 for $15. The plastic straws are red and say “Trump.” The campaign’s merchandise website states that “Liberal paper straws don’t work,” and describes the straws as:
• BPA free
• Reusable & Recyclable
• 9″ long
• Pack of 10 identical straws as shown
• Laser engraved
• Made in USA
Newsweek spoke to Greenpeace Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar, who told the outlet: “Donald Trump has based his entire presidency on lies and divisiveness, so it is no surprise that he is selling plastic straws because his presidency is a cheap throwaway with disastrous long term consequences.”
Hocevar claimed Trump “has either missed the point or is outwardly lying to his base.” He added: “The vast majority of plastic straws are not recycled in the U.S., which means they end up incinerated, piling up in landfills, or polluting our oceans.”
It is actually Hocevar who is being disingenuous, as the hysteria surrounding plastic drinking straws comes from an absurdly unscientific study conducted by a 9-year-old. When Milo Cress was 9-years-old, he called various straw manufacturers to ask how many straws they made and how many are used. From those phone call estimates, he suggested Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day. For reference, there’s 330 million living people in the U.S., meaning everyone would have to use at least one straw every day to even approach that figure.
But that hasn’t stopped environmentalists from latching onto the figure and using it to push unnecessary bans in cities across the country.
On Friday, Trump mocked the focus on plastic straws in major cities.
“I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws,” Trump said. “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?”
“Everybody focuses on the straws. There’s a lot of other things to focus [on],” he added.
Still, straws are the main focus. Starbucks announced last summer that it would stop using plastic straws by 2020. Multiple cities in California, as well as Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, have banned restaurants from handing out plastic straws. The bans had to make exceptions for the disabled, who had previously noted that they need flexible plastic straws and no other material works for them.
At least some places appear to have noticed that if plastic straws are a problem, so are other items, as Trump noted. In Santa Barbara, California, some restaurants went beyond the straw ban by eliminating all plastic from their shops. In San Francisco, not only are straws banned, but also “plastic cocktail sticks, stirrers or toothpicks,” Newsweek reported. Other plastic products, “such as lids, chopsticks, and coffee-cup sleeves” can be handed out to customers who ask.