UK- McDonald, an American fast food company, is set to eliminate plastic straws in some of its markets in Europe including UK and Ireland by 2019 in a way to reduce plastic waste.
McDonald aims to transition to paper straws in all of its locations in these markets with planned trials for selected restaurants in the US, France, Sweden, Norway and Australia later this year.
The fast food giant has also been carrying out trials on paper alternatives to plastic straws in Belgium while seeking to source more of its packaging from recycled sources.
“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.”
Public concerns and pressures to reduce plastics, associated with oceanic pollution has prompted big names such as Coca-Cola and Unilever announce their commitments to the noble course of securing the environment.
McDonald’s recently announced goals that by 2025, 100% of its guest packaging will come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council certification.
This is in line with an ambition to improve its packaging while helping combat the effects of plastic waste on the environment and the population thereof.
In addition to this, McDonald’s has set a goal to recycle guest packaging in 100% of McDonald’s restaurants, also by 2025.
The move comes after environmental concerns and pressure from activists on implication of plastic straws use, something that could have been reason enough for the company to test plastic straw alternatives.
The company’s shareholders are reported to have rejected a proposal asking a report on business risks associated with the use of plastic straws during its annual meeting in May.
While the UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to ban use of single-use plastic straws, European Union proposed a ban on plastic straws in May, and the Indian government has pledged to ban single-use plastic by 2022.
It is evident pressure to ban plastic straws is mounting and McDonald may not be in a position to choose whether they want to phase it out or not, rather it’s bound to bow to pressure.