McDonald’s Discontinues Plastic Straws in the UK and Ireland

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The international fast-food giant will begin the transition from plastic to paper across the pond come September.

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McDonald’s is one of the latest companies to jump on the sustainability bandwagon in terms of the foodservice industry, and it’s certainly a long time coming. According to BBC News, the restaurant chain estimates that the UK uses 8.5 billion plastic straws per year and that their restaurant alone uses 1.8 million per day–that’s a lot of waste.

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“Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws,” the company commented. After running successful trials in selected restaurants over the past year, the decision has been made that paper straws are the best alternative to their detrimental plastic counterpart for Micky D’s.

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UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has called the action both a “significant contribution,” and, “a fine example to other large businesses.”

Of course, the ban still doesn’t extend to the remainder of the chain’s global empire, but similar trials to those conducted in the UK will soon begin in restaurants throughout the US, France, and Norway.