McDonald’s is posturing to make an historic move that will impact the environment. The corporation said on Friday that it will switch to paper straws at all of its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They will test an alternative to plastic one in some of their U.S. restaurants as well later this year.
The massive burger chain as well as some other fast food companies are facing increasing pressure from customers and environmental activists. The want McDonalds to stop using plastic straws because they end up in the ocean and harm sea turtles, birds and other marine life. Paper straws disintegrate in the environment.
McDonald’s Corp. declined to say what type of straw it would test in the U.S.. The only said that it would be a “sustainable solution.” It has more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants, compared to about 1,360 in the U.K. and Ireland.
The company will start to phase out plastic straws at their restaurants in the U.K. and Ireland in September and complete the transition next year.
British officials are ready to launch a public consultation for a potential bill that would ban the sale of the single-use plastic straws.
McDonalds also plans to test alternatives to plastic straws in their chain in France, Sweden and Norway. So the movement seems to be spreading across Europe.
This has obviously created praise from environmental activists who have been lobbying for a move like this. Louise Edge, a campaigner with Greenpeace U.K., said it was a small move that anticipates a potential government ban, “but the scale of the fast food giant means this move will have impact.”
What are your thoughts on this major environmental move by McDonalds? Do you think this kind of change will work in other countries including America? We look forward to seeing your comments below.