Will Plastic Straws Make America Great Again?

The Trump campaign team has just announced that it is selling packs of ten plastic straws with the president’s name laser etched into them for 15 dollars, plus shipping. Trump’s selling point for these plastic straws? “Liberal paper straws don’t work”.

Naturally, this announcement has provoked a slew of news and social media responses, ranging from amused to angry. Let’s however have a serious look at Trump’s claims that paper straws don’t work, and that his straws are going to once again make America great.

Plastic straws may be cheaper than some paper straws, but Trump’s plastic straws are most certainly not

When you ask someone why they don’t use paper straws, they might say: “Aren’t paper straws more expensive than plastic?” Well, that depends. Plastic straws caught on in popularity because they became cheaper and cheaper to make. Despite being far more harmful to our country’s habitats and animals than any paper straw could be, people still appreciate how cheap plastic straws are.

Let’s take a step back, however, and remember how much the Trump campaign is asking supporters to pay for just 10 straws: 15 dollars. This equates to one dollar and fifty cents for just one plastic Trump straw. “Liberal” paper straws on the other hand can cost as little as a two cents per straw. Plastic straws may be cheaper than some paper straws, but Trump’s plastic straws are most certainly not.

When we do the math, it turns out the folks who bought the “liberal” paper straws for pennies are ending up with more hard-earned money in their pockets than the folks people who bought Trump’s 15-dollar plastic straws. Yes, the Trump campaign claims that these plastic straws are “reusable”, but so are all the single-use plastic straws that litter our planet. The Trump campaign site never says anything about the quality, thickness, durability, etc of these plastic straws, so for all we know, these 15-dollar straws could be no different from the cheapest plastic ones on the market.

Plastic straws may be cheaper than some paper straws, but Trump’s plastic straws are most certainly not.

The Trump campaign claims it wants to make America a great country again, and therefore plastic straws will help make that happen, right? Not so fast, because this has not been the case so far. In fact, Americans on average use 500 million plastic straws per day. Many of these plastic straws never get recycled, and instead enter our rivers, lakes and oceans.

Some of American’s greatest living treasures that call these waters home mistakenly swallow these straws, getting injured or killed. One of these living treasures is none other than the Bald Eagle, the symbol of this country. Scientists have documented Bald Eagles both eating plastic waste and dragging it into their nests, endangering both their own lives, and this national treasure’s future generations. If the Trump campaign cares about the Bald Eagle thriving, then surely it will make the switch to paper straws, right?

Scientists have documented Bald Eagles both eating plastic waste and dragging it into their nests, endangering both their own lives, and this national treasure’s future generations.

“But paper straws don’t work”, we may hear. Well certainly, if paper straws are not made well, and are low quality, then like anything else, they will not perform well. A quality paper straw however will hold up well, and will last by the time you finish your beverage.

On top of their sustainability, affordability and strength, paper straws can be made in any size, color and pattern imaginable. Paper straws have all the practicality of plastic straws, but none of their harmful waste. With all these advantages, now may be a better time than ever for the Trump campaign to save a Bald Eagle’s life, and make the switch to paper straws that keep America the great place that it is.