Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

McDonald’s to Test Eco-Friendly Straws in USA by Year-End

McDonald’s to Test Eco-Friendly Straws in USA by Year-End

The Government has unveiled plans that could see plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds completely banned from sale in England. Prime Minister Theresa May announced the ban in April, saying that it could be implemented as soon as next year.

McDonald's is testing alternatives to plastic straws in Belgium, France, the United States and Norway and in parts of Latin America is only offering plastic straws on request.

McDonald's Corp. declined to say what type of straw it would test in the US, saying only that it would be a "sustainable solution".

Several companies around the world have opted out of single-use plastic products in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic being thrown out and ending up in landfills or oceans. "Through our 25 Year Environment Plan we have committed to eliminating avoidable plastic and we will continue to take decisive action to protect our precious environment".

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

"We continue to work to find a more sustainable solution for plastic straws globally", McDonald's said in a statement in May.

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Even when plastic straws are recycled, they are generally "too lightweight to make it through the mechanical recycling sorter", which means they "drop through sorting screens and mix with other materials and are too small to separate, contaminating recycling loads or getting disposed [of] as garbage", says campaign group For a Strawless Ocean.

Several large United Kingdom restaurant chains such as Pizza Express and Wagamama have already stopped using plastic straws.

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said: "Congratulations to McDonald's on making this significant contribution to help our natural environment".

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

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