McDonald's to replace plastic straws with paper ones

McDonald's to replace plastic straws with paper ones

But other United Kingdom food chains have already ditched plastic straws from their restaurants.

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

This decision follows a successful trial in selected restaurants earlier this year.

Given the size of the company's purchasing power, McDonald's says it hopes the shift will "support industrywide change and bring sustainable solutions to scale", said Francesca DeBiase, head of global supply chain and sustainability at the company.

The Marine Conservation Society said about 70% of litter on beaches was made of plastic with items such as straws, cups and stirrers making up over 20% of the litter.

"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 parts of Latin America and Malaysia, the company is starting to offer straws on request only. But many businesses, including Waitrose, Costa Coffee, and Wagamama, have already started to take action.

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Burger King, Wagamama and JD Wetherspoon have all ditched plastic straws in the a year ago.

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

Mr Naughten said McDonald's was "moving in the right direction by eliminating single-use plastics".

And more than 60 independent British festivals - including Boardmasters and Bestival - have banned plastic straws as part of a pledge to rid their sites of single-use plastic by 2021.

Campaigners, such Michaela Hollywood who has spinal muscular atrophy, have urged companies to ensure they are providing alternatives to plastic straws as opposed to an all-out ban, as some disabled people rely on straws in order to be able to drink.

It argues that straws can be recycled together with cartons if they are pushed back into the box.

McDonald's will use two companies to meet their needs, according to RTÉ - Huhtamaki, which has a production plant in Belfast, and Welsh start-up Transcend Packaging.

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