Communities around the world are working on tackling our plastic pollution crisis. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign is selling plastic straws.
Nevermind that these Trump straws are 33.5 times* more expensive than your average plastic straw, at $15 for a 10-pack, they're also advertised as recyclable.
But here's the thing... plastic straws aren't recyclable.
“Liberal paper straws don’t work. STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today,” the product description states.
It doesn’t matter what they’re made of, which the description seems to have conveniently forgotten to list, plastic straws aren’t recyclable because of their size and shape.
"Plastic straws and other items smaller than two by two inches, such as plastic utensils, fall through the machinery that sorts our recycling," says Jonathan Kuhl of the Washington, D.C., Department of Public Works. The same holds true for most recycling plants around the country.
Without being sorted, plastic straws are destined for the landfill where they’ll sit for hundreds of years to come. But, because they’re so lightweight, rain and wind can easily take them on a detour to our waterways and oceans. As litter and plastic pollution, the straws can cause harm to marine life like sea turtles, birds, and whales. Over time, that small plastic straw will break up into thousands of microplastics which have already entered our food chain... yum.
As for the paper straws—well, that’s one thing we can agree on. Paper straws are a poor, soggy alternative for more than one reason. Paper products are more resource intensive than their plastic counterparts, when considering material and manufacturing. And paper straws are still going to end up in our landfills where they will never be able to biodegrade, along with everything else doomed to rot there forever.
Single-use is never going to be the best option. Reusable items are where it’s at. So if you’re gonna suck, #SuckResponsibly, whether that’s with your lips or a reusable cup and straw.
*Here’s our math. 200 Plastic Straws for $8.95 on Amazon equals $0.04 a straw (4.475 cents to be exact). 10 Trump Straws for $15.00 equals $1.50 a straw. 150 divided by 4.475 equals 33.5.