Climate Action

McDonald’s to phase-out plastic straws in UK and Ireland

This could be the final straw. McDonald’s will bring forward plans to replace plastic straws with paper alternatives in all of its UK and Irish restaurants.

  • 15 June 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

This could be the final straw. McDonald’s will bring forward plans to replace plastic straws with paper alternatives in all of its UK and Irish restaurants.

The fast food chain made the announcement today, stating online “You asked. We listened”. From September, all 1,361 restaurants will be provided with paper straws, saving millions of tons of plastic.

The move forms part of its wider sustainability plans set out earlier this year to make 100 percent its global packaging come from renewable, recycled or certified sustainable sources by 2025.

McDonald’s has been undertaking tests in the UK to find long-term alternatives to plastic straws. Similar testing has started in Belgium and will soon start in the US, France, Sweden, Norway and Australia. In some markets, such as Malaysia, straws will soon be offered only upon request.

“McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good and working to find sustainable solutions for plastic straws globally,” said Francesca DeBiase Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Sustainability. “In addition to the exciting news from the UK today, we are testing straw alternatives in other countries to provide the best experience for our customers. We hope this work will support industry wide change and bring sustainable solutions to scale.”

Straws are just one part of the huge levels of packaging which McDonald’s is aiming to transform across its entire global supply chain. 50 percent of its packaging currently comes from sustainable sources, and the company has pledged to with local governments and industry to improve this figure.

McDonald’s has a separate goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent by 2030. This will prevent an estimated 150 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

                                            McDonald’s broke the news on Twitter

 

Photo Credit: Nathan O'Nions/Flickr