Kamala Harris wants to ban plastic straws but says paper straws too 'flimsy'

Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said Wednesday during a CNN climate change forum that the U.S. should ban plastic straws while answering a question about curbing the country’s reliance on single-use plastics. But Harris also said she wants to “encourage innovation” around paper straws that break too often.

"I think we should, yes. I mean. Look, I’m going to be honest. It's really difficult out of --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," Harris says, making a snapping motion with her hands and laughing. "So, we gotta kind of perfect that one a little bit more.”

“Innovation is a process, but let's encourage innovation, and I think we can do a little better than some of those flimsy" paper straws, the California senator continued.

"We do need to ban the plastic," Harris added.

Her campaign's national press secretary, tweeted: "We really do need to jumpstart innovation in the straw space."

A staffer for the RNC took to social media to spread the video of Harris' comments Wednesday evening. 

In July, Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager, tweeted: "Making Straws Great Again," along with a link to buy Trump-branded straws from the Trump campaign store. 

More: Trump campaign starts selling plastic drinking straws

Wednesday, he tweeted: "Kamala Harris just said she wants to BAN plastic straws -- the only kind that actually work! Get your Trump Straws here →”

"Liberal paper straws don’t work. STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today," says the straws' description on the Trump campaign website.

The pack of 10 straws sells for $15. According to the website, the straws are "Laser engraved."

Within the last few years, cities such as San Francisco; Seattle; Fort Myers, Fla.; Malibu, Calif., and the District of Columbia have banned the use of plastic straws, while others, such as New York, are moving in that direction. Companies including Starbucks, American Airlines and Disney, have announced that they're eliminating plastic straws.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kamala Harris: Paper straws 'filmsy,' need innovation