McDonald's to switch to paper straws in U.K., Ireland

Marco Green
June 18, 2018

McDonald's will start phasing out plastic straws in about 1,300 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the company said Friday, replacing them with paper straws in restaurants starting in September.

The new paper straws which are replacing the existing plastic straws across of the McDonald's restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland after a successful trial. Plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose if not recycled. The company says it will begin transitioning to paper straws at all of its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland in September.

Under pressure by environmentalists, McDonald's said Friday that it will start testing alternatives to plastic straws at select locations in the US later this year.

"We are testing straw alternatives in other countries to provide the best experience for our customers". Food services company Bon Appétit said last month it was removing the straws from its 1,000 cafes in 33 states. McDonald's also revealed that before they made the decision, they used some of their locations as pilot programs.

The eventual replacement of plastic straws by McDonald's worldwide will hopefully reduce the amount of waste dumped into the environment.

Governments are also getting in on the plastic straw ban act. The British government has been discussing the possibility of banning all single-use plastic straws, but some businesses are acting ahead of time to eliminate them from their own locations. The SumOfUs campaign called for McDonald's to stop using plastic straws as they are an enormous expense to the ocean and marine life.

USA Today reports that the burger joint is taking the plastic straw ban across the Atlantic as well. Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson argued that plastic straws can help disabled people drink without assistance.

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 are the sixth most common type of litter globally, according to Litterati, an app that identifies and maps trash.

What do you think of the announcement, PR Daily readers?

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