McDonald's to test alternative to plastic straws in some United States restaurants

McDonald's to test alternative to plastic straws in some United States restaurants

McDonald's will end the use of plastic straws in its British restaurants next year, after almost half a million people called on the company to ditch them.

"Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws", McDonald's was quoted as saying by the BBC.

The European Union moved last month to ban 10 items - including plastic cutlery, straws and cotton swabs - by 2030 in a bid to clean up the oceans.

In America, 500 million plastic straws are used every day.

The global fast food chain has 1,361 restaurants in the UK.

"The drive to eliminate plastic straws is a good step and it's symbolic - and symbols are important", he said. And in Malaysia, McDonald's will try a new approach to dispensing straws - giving them out only if a customer requests one.

In May, McDonald's shareholders overwhelmingly rejected a proposal asking the company for a report about the business risks associated with plastic straws.

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And a group of more than 40 companies including Coca-Cola, Nestle, Unilever and Procter & Gamble pledged earlier this year to slash the amount of plastic they use and throw away in the United Kingdom.

The Sum of Us petition calling for the change had warned that many plastic straws ended up polluting the ocean, harming seabirds and marine life.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the initiative was "simple but effective" and is a "fine example to other large businesses".

SeaWorld, Ikea and Royal Caribbean have already vowed to stop using plastic straws and bags.

The Chicago-based fast-food chain said it has been dabbling in disposable-straw alternatives in Belgium, too.

McDonald's has also set a goal of making all of its customer packaging come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025, with an additional aim of having recycling available in all restaurants.

McDonald's said it had found two suppliers to meet its needs for paper straws - a global company called Huhtamaki which has a production plant in Belfast, and Welsh start-up Transcend Packaging.

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