McDonald's to Dump Plastic Straws in United Kingdom, Ireland

Marcus Newton
June 16, 2018

Plastic straws can be seen at a McDonald's restaurant, after it was revealed that they are to replace their plastic straws with paper ones in United Kingdom and Ireland restaurants, in London, Britain, June 15, 2018.

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

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has also joined to movement, writing in a recent Instagram post that he's "out on single-use plastic straws".

It follows a successful trial at a handful of venues from April.

Because of its massive size, the global hamburger chain can effect significant change in the supply chain, as it did when it announced it would use eggs only from cage-free hens.

It hopes all plastic straws will have been replaced by next year.

All JD Wetherspoon pubs stopped using plastic straws at the beginning of the year.

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

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

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McDonald's isn't the only major straw user to start tossing them aside.

In May, the Restaurants Association of Ireland called on its 2,500 members to implement a ban on single-use straws.

Most straws are made from plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene, which unless recycled take hundreds of years to decompose.

McDonald's said that plastic straws would still be available "for those that require it", but they will be kept behind the counter.

Plastic straws in particular have been known to cause harm to wildlife like turtles and fish when they end up in our oceans.

Plastic straws enable many disabled people to drink independently, according to Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

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 US restaurants.

Transcend Packaging in Wales, and Huhtamaki in Belfast, will supply the straws for all 1,361 McDonald's restaurants.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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