McDonald's to replace plastic straws with paper ones

Daniel Fowler
June 17, 2018

McDonald's has said that they plan to ditch single use plastic straws from all of their restaurants across Ireland and the UK.

The move comes after the Government proposed a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds in England in April. Those locations now use 1.8 million plastic straws per day.

"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. Britain now uses an estimated 8.5 billion a year, while the USA gets through more than 500 million a day, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Last week, Ikea announced it aims to phase out all single-use plastic products from its stores and restaurants by 2020.

It is estimated that the United Kingdom uses 8.5 billion plastic straws a year, according to the Marine Conservation Society.

Most straws are made from plastics that take hundreds of years to decompose and instead break down into microplastics - which are extremely risky to the environment.

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Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said: "Congratulations to McDonald's on making this significant contribution to help our natural environment".

McDonald's isn't the first food corporation to buck the plastic trend in the UK; JD Wetherspoon, Burger King, and Costa Coffee have all phased out plastic straws in the past year.

Later this year, McDonald's will begin testing alternatives in some restaurants in the United States, France, Sweden, Norway and Australia.

The replacement straws will use paper from sustainable sources, the company said.

Prior to these planned changes, McDonald's had already made an effort to cut down on plastic waste by keeping their plastic straws behind the counters instead of a free-for-all system.

"We all have a responsibility to our environment and this simple yet effective initiative is a fine example to other large businesses".

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