Kamala Harris Says Paper Straws Are 'Flimsy' But U.S. Should Ban Plastic Ones

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at a campaign event on healthcare Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, in Burlington, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said paper straws “bend” too easily in drinks but the U.S. government should ban plastic ones because they are harmful to wildlife.


Companies like Starbucks are beginning to phase out plastic straws in their cafes.

“Everyone needs to see the images of what these plastic bottles and straws and everything are doing to our wildlife, to our fish, to our oceans and so it’s about, one, creating the incentives, I’ve seen this again. We banned plastic bags in California and in San Francisco and again you know people had to get used to it,” she said at a CNN climate change town hall on Wednesday. “I think we have to create incentives to ban these — we have to create incentives.”

The former attorney general of California continued, “We can adapt, right? But we need to understand that leaders have to lead and we can adapt.”

Harris was asked if she supports a government plastic straw ban.


“I think we should, yes. I mean, look, I’m going to be honest. It’s really difficult to drink out of a paper straw — like, if you don’t gulp it down immediately it starts to bend and then the little thing catches it. So, we’ve got to, kind of, perfect that one a little bit more,” she said. “Innovation is a process but you know, let’s encourage innovation. I think we can do a little better than some of those flimsy plastic straws but we do need to ban the plastic.”


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