Trump’s New Campaign Battle: Plastic Straws

The political campaign staff working for the American president commercialized plastic straws to support Donald Trump for the 2020 election.

Donald Trump does not like environmentally friendly straws. Paper straws that constantly disintegrate drive him crazy. He “deals [with it]” because “turtles are cute”* and he doesn’t want them to disappear due to our large consumption of plastic straws. But clearly, it is not a priority for him. During an interview in the White House when the question of the plastic straw ban in several American cities and in California came up, Trump was quite skeptical. “I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws,” he answered. Then after a brief pause, he gave his opinion on the subject. “You have a little straw. 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 concluded, amused, admitting that sure, “straws are interesting.”

Making Straws Great Again

The American president’s campaign staff decided to make the straw debate an argument to differentiate Trump from his opponents. To prove that the paper straws supported by the opposition are not very useful, Trump decided to sell red plastic straws labeled “recyclable” with his name “laser engraved,” as part of his campaign for the 2020 presidential election. On his campaign site, a pack of 10 is sold for $15. The website exhorts: “Liberal paper straws don’t work. STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today.”

These straws sold by the thousands, earning about $200,000 for the campaign, according to the American press. Trump’s campaign staff spread this new battle widely on Twitter.

Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, tweeted that he was “so over paper straws.” He attached to his statement a picture of his hand holding a ripped paper straw in a plastic cup.

“Making straws great again,” he also joked, hijacking Trump’s first campaign slogan.

Trump supporters welcomed the initiative. One even suggested bringing Trump straws to restaurants that exclusively offer paper straws.

An executive director of the environmentalist association Lonely Whale, the campaign to ban single use straws, expressed her disappointment to the BBC: “I’m only surprised [Trump] hasn’t come out with a whole suite of plastic items and that he’s stopped at straws. It just shows the lack of understanding the administration has on how the current waste management infrastructure works in the U.S. If they did, they’d know that straws are too lightweight to be recycled.”

*Editor’s note: This quote, accurately translated from the original, could not be verified.

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