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Jul 1, 2018

McDonald's to Switch to Paper Straws in UK; US Next?

McDonald's is set to switch from plastic to paper straws over in the UK and Ireland starting this September. They are also planning on testing plastic straw alternatives later this year in a number of countries, including the US.

The move comes as concern grows over single-use plastic ending up in the ocean and straws, in particular, are a high-usage everyday item that tends not to be recycled.

With a staggered roll-out, McDonald's plans to have all 1,361 of their restaurants in the UK and Ireland completing the switch from plastic to paper straws in 2019.

The chain has a larger goal of sourcing all customer packaging from "renewable, recycled, or certified" sources by 2025 and to have consumer packaging recycling in all McDonald's locations globally.

McDonald's has also begun testing plastic straw alternatives in Belgium and will start similar tests at select locations in the US, France, Sweden, Norway, and Australia. They also plan to try offering straws by request only in several countries, including Malaysia.

Given the time frame of the paper straw roll-out in the UK (they tested the concept earlier this year), a successful test of plastic straw alternatives here in the US could lead to a similar switch in 2020 or so.

Photo via McDonald's.


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