McDonald's to switch to paper straws in UK, Ireland

17 Juin, 2018, 13:17 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • McDonald's will use paper straws in every restaurant in the UK

McDonald's Corp. will start rolling out paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with plans to phase out the plastic variety in all 1,361 locations there in 2019.

In April, the British government proposed a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds in England.

Companies are under increasing pressure to get rid of plastic straws as reports mount of plastic straws ending up in the oceans and harming marine life.

Alternatives to plastic straws are being tested by McDonald's in Belgium and trials will begin in selected restaurants in the US, France and Norway.

McDonald's Corp. declined to say what type of straw it would test in the USA, saying only that it would be a "sustainable solution".

"Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws", a company spokesperson said.

It is the latest company to opt out of some single-use plastic products which can take hundreds of years to decompose if not recycled.

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The fast-food giant joins a list of nightclubs and restaurant venues which have pledged to dump plastic straws for bio-degradable alternatives.

The roll-out in 1,361 branches will begin in September and aim to be completed next year.

"We continue to work to find a more sustainable solution for plastic straws globally", McDonald's said in a statement in May.

Last week, rival burger chain A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. said it would eliminate all plastic straws from its restaurants by the end of this year.

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.

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

He said the news was a "clear demonstration that large companies and organisations are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously".

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