Forget how you feel about the straw bans coursing through the country, about the seas filling up with plastic, the record temperatures being set around the globe, maybe even Trump’s comments this week about four minority congresswomen.
There is one thing we can all agree on: Paying $15 for 10 plastic straws is outrageous.
That was the price the reelection campaign for President Trump — a straw . . . man, evidently — was charging for a pack of straws branded with his name, as a way to stoke anger about the measures, and raise a little cash at the same time.
Plus, they are reusable and recyclable for consumers who are environmentally conscious but unwilling to give up plastic straws.
“Liberal paper straws don’t work,” the campaign site wrote. “STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today.”
The straws — BPA-free and made in the United States — are more expensive than other straws on the market. A pack of 200 plastic straws currently sells for around $7 to $9 on Amazon. Extra-thick reusable straws go for about $8 for groups of 12 to 30. (Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
The plastic straws ubiquitous at takeout-focused eateries and coffee shops are too small for most recycling machinery, so they end up in trash and often in waterways. As awareness about the accumulation of plastic in the ocean has grown — a cringeworthy video of scientists pulling a plastic straw from a sea turtle’s nostril went viral last summer — so too have outright bans on the item.
They have been subject to restrictions in Seattle, Miami Beach and many cities in the Bay Area in California, and some companies, like Starbucks, have announced plans to follow suit. But the bans are not always well-enforced.
They have also become a political football as well, another seemingly innocuous item suddenly electrified by the churning political divide.
In Florida, a state bill that was originally meant to ban plastic straws was changed in committee hearings to do the opposite — ban bans on plastic straws. It was passed by the state’s Republican legislature before being vetoed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the spring.
Some conservatives have taken to posting pictures of themselves drinking with plastic straws on social media, an act of trolling and defiance in the face of liberal policies and environmental degradation.
Trump was asked Friday about the straw ban as news of his campaign’s straws began to circulate.
“I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws,” he said. “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?”
It is a good question.