Kamala Harris stirs war with Trump team over plastic straws

From paper to plastic – and even pasta -- candidates for president and members of the public alike are divided on the issues, and alternatives, surrounding the use of straws.

At a CNN town hall Wednesday night, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) says she wants to ban plastic straws but acknowledged that the paper straw, while an eco-friendly alternative, needs some work.

“Look, I’m going to be honest, it’s really difficult to drink out of a paper straw,” she admitted.

“If you don’t gulp it down immediately it starts to bend and then, you know, the little thing catches it.”

- Sen Kamala Harris (D-CA)

“We’ve gotta, kind of, perfect that one a little bit more,” she continued with a laugh.

Paper straws

President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale quickly took to Twitter after Harris’s comments on CNN, hawking reusable plastic “Trump Straws” that are emblazoned with Trump’s name. 

The straws have already made nearly a half-million dollars in sales and sold out within hours when they first went on sale, according to Politico.

Big cities nationwide, such as Seattle, San Francisco and New York -- have banned plastic straws.

Whole Foods has since discontinued its use of the straws in its U.S., Canada and U.K. stores, and Starbucks previously announced it plans to stop using them in all locations by 2020.


On Thursday entrepreneurs Robert and Maximo Speiser talked to Fox Business network about their own creation, the Amazing Pasta Straw,  as a way to tackle the issue.

“Our pasta straws are 100 percent biodegradable. They last probably longer in a cold drink thank you would find with the other alternatives, with the exception, of course, metal,” Robert said during the segment. “Very friendly to the ocean and to the earth.”

When Sen. Elizabeth Warren was asked during Wednesday's town hall, about the government's potential involvement in energy-saving lightbulb production, she shook her head and said the fossil fuel industry wants the public's attention on these topics -- including straws -- and away from the industries and their own impact on the environment.

"They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your lightbulbs, around your straws and around your cheeseburgers when 70 percent of the pollution of the carbon that we're throwing into the air comes from three industries."