Published: Thu, August 08, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

McDonald's may have exaggerated how 'eco-friendly' their straws are

McDonald's may have exaggerated how 'eco-friendly' their straws are

McDonald's have been making use of paper straws over the previous year, which although classed as "eco-friendly" by the fast food chain, can not be recycled up to now.

McDonald's faced serious criticism after swapping plastic straws for the "eco-friendly" paper alternative, largely as the original paper straws were too flimsy.

However, as revealed in an internal memo circulated by the Sun, McDonald's new paper straws are not actually recyclable.

"We constantly work on new solutions, the straw of previous year to where you look at now is totally different", he said, adding that they were working with recycling companies to "align" recycling processes at all levels to make sure that all recyclable products were recycled.

The firm switched from plastic straws to paper ones in its restaurants in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland in autumn of 2018.

A spokesman for McDonald's said the company used 1.8 million straws a day and that the move to paper was a "significant step in helping reduce single-plastic use".

Paper straws in workplaces and restaurants are as unrecyclable as their plastic forerunners.

Former climate change secretary Ed Davey said, according to the Daily Telegraph: "It really can't be that hard to replace plastic straws".

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The new paper straws are manufactured by a company in south Wales, Transcend Packaging, which is based in Ebbw Vale.

Picture: McDonalds' environmental reputation has been sullied by not telling their customers, until now, that the company's new paper straws can not be recycled.

An insider at the chain told the tabloid: "When McDonald's introduced paper straws it was getting pats on the back for being environmentally responsible".

"This waste from our restaurants does not go to [a] landfill, but is used to generate energy", the company added.

However, now it has been revealed the straws currently can not be recycled, their attempt at adopting a more "eco-friendly" culture has been called into question.

However despite describing the paper ones as "eco-friendly", McDonald's has said that they are not yet able to recycle them and that they should be binned instead. We should be thinking about how to avoid waste creation. A petition to bring back plastic straws has so far been signed by more than 50,000 people.

The company said it's working on a solution, so the straws heading to the trash should just be temporary, the BBC reported.

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