This is a follow-up to a story that Allahpundit covered on Friday. While the subject of plastic waste that doesn’t decompose winding up in our oceans and landfills is a serious one, not all of the proposals to address the situation are as serious as others. As AP noted, the President was asked about a ban on plastic straws and he responded by saying that it makes little sense to ban them when we’re not banning all of the other, larger plastic products that are also not recycled.
Not long after that, somebody saw a fundraising opportunity and plastic “Trump straws” were on sale at the President’s fundraising site. Charging a dollar and a half each for what is essentially just a plain, red plastic straw with Trump’s name emblazoned on the side might not sound like much of a bargain, but that obviously wasn’t the point. The President was capitalizing on pushback against a liberal idea that seemed excessively intrusive while producing little in the way of measurable results. So how did it work out? The straws sold out in a matter of days.
“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 late Friday. “Now you can finally be free from liberal paper straws that fall apart within minutes and ruin your drink.”
Journalist Yashar Ali appears to have been the first to notice the new merchandise in Trump’s campaign store. A pack of 10, which are red and emblazoned with “TRUMP” in silver, is available for $15. However, it takes almost two weeks for shipping.
They’re still taking orders, but you’ll have to wait a few weeks to get them. And considering what they cost in bulk and how many people are snapping them up, whoever came up with this idea probably deserves a bonus next month.
The underlying idea that kicked all of this off is a very real one, however. I’ve tried those paper straws at a local diner and they’re simply useless. You can finish maybe a third of a 12-ounce cup of ice tea before the straw is totally falling apart and filling your drink with soggy paper. But what’s the viable alternative? You can carry your own around, but glass straws have a nasty habit of breaking and immediately turning into a rather deadly weapon. The metal straws seem like a far better choice, assuming you don’t die while impaling your brain on them. I haven’t had a chance to try one of the bamboo ones yet, but I’ll admit they sound like they would last longer than paper, though I have to wonder if they don’t impart some sort of bamboo taste.
The other problem with reusable straws is that they have to be washed and there is no brush or other device I’m aware of that can fully clean the inside of them. If all you’re drinking is water or other very “thin” liquids, you should be able to soak them in hot water and then run rise water through them and get them mostly clean. But if it’s any sort of thick, creamy beverage you can probably forget it.
Aside from milkshakes, how many drinks do you actually need a straw for? Sure, they’re very convenient if you’re in the car, but still…can’t we sip out of the little slots in the cup lid? (Odds are that your cup lid is probably plastic too, but let’s not be distracted by that.)
Surely some genius out there can come up with some sort of artificial wood material that would biodegrade and can be rolled up to make straws, lids or cups at a reasonable cost. If they do, they should be in for a decent profit. Until then, I suppose we can just pony up fifteen bucks for Trump straws or buy one hundred of them at the dollar store and bring them with us when traveling.