McDonald’s to Scrap Plastic Straws in United Kingdom and Ireland

McDonald’s to Scrap Plastic Straws in United Kingdom and Ireland

McDonald’s to Scrap Plastic Straws in United Kingdom and Ireland

McDonald's has revealed it will replace plastic straws with paper ones at its United Kingdom and Ireland restaurants.

In addition to the US testing, McDonald's will implement paper straws in all 1,361 of its restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with the rollout scheduled to begin in September and conclude by 2019.

Many end up in landfill and the oceans, and the BBC's Blue Planet II highlighted the damage plastic can cause to marine wildlife.

The roll-out of the paper alternative came amid pressure on companies to opt out of some single-use plastic products which can take hundreds of years to decompose if not recycled.

McDonald's said its decision followed a successful trial in selected restaurants earlier this year.

According to McDonald's, the new straws will use paper from certified sustainable sources.

The move comes after the Government proposed a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds in England in April.

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"We hope this work will support industry wide change and bring sustainable solutions to scale", Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain and Sustainability Francesca DeBiase said.

'Over the past few months we've been working closely with supplier partners to find a solution that works both for our customers, and that the supply is there given the size of our business.

"The (British) government's ambitious plans, combined with strong customer opinion, has helped to accelerate the move away from plastic and I'm proud that we've been able to play our part in helping to achieve this societal change".

McDonald's also plans to test alternatives to plastic straws in some of its locations in France, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Australia, as well as in some of its more than 14,000 USA restaurants.

The company is the latest to ditch plastic straws, with businesses including Burger King, JD Wetherspoon, Costa Coffee, Pizza Express and Wagamama all making the move away from them.

In some other countries, straws are being offered on request only.

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove called on other companies to follow the example of McDonald's.

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