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15th Jun 2018

McDonald’s to take huge step and ban plastic straws in all UK restaurants

James Dawson

It is part of a wider effort by the company to protect the environment

McDonald’s has announced that from September it will begin the process of transferring to paper straws in all 1,361 of its restaurants.

The company said the move comes following a trial that found that the majority of its customers support the change, which will reduce plastic waste and help protect the environment.

The fast-food outlet has a goal to source 100% of guest packaging from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025 and to have guest packaging recycling in all restaurants globally.

Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: “Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws but to do so without compromising their overall experience when visiting our restaurants.

“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 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.”

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

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

“McDonald’s has made a significant investment in UK manufacturing to produce an alternative to plastic, showing British businesses are taking a global lead.

“We want more companies to say no to unnecessary single use plastics. Through our 25 Year Environment Plan we have committed to eliminating avoidable plastic and we will continue to take decisive action to protect our precious environment.”

Back in April, the government outlined plans for plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds to be banned from sale in England in an effort to reduce the impact of plastic pollution on oceans and rivers.