Procurement · 15 June 2018

McDonald’s to remove all plastic straws from UK and Ireland restaurants

Mcdonald’s pledge to remove all plastic straws from their stores by Septemober 2018.

The fast-food chain will replace all plastic straws with paper ones becoming the latest company to cut down on single-use plastics.

Most straws are made up of polypropylene and polystyrene, which can take hundreds of years to decompose if not recycled.

Currently McDonald’s uses 1.8 million straws a day in the UK.

Commenting on this, Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald’s UK and Ireland: “The government’s ambitious plans, combined with strong customer opinion, has helped to accelerate the move away from plastic and I’m proud that we’ve been able to play our part.”

“Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws.”

This step has followed a successful trial in selected restaurants earlier this year.

Environment secretary Michael Gove called it a “significant contribution” to helping the environment, adding that it was “a fine example to other large businesses”.

Unfortunately, the company’s newfound green attitude is yet to spread past UK and Irish borders. However, trials will begin in selected restaurants in the US, France and Norway.

In April, the government proposed a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds in England.

Waitrose, Costa Coffee, Wagamama, Pizza Express and JD Wetherspoon pubs are amongst businesses which have

On the other hand, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson argued that paper straws were not suitable for disabled people to drink independently.

She said paper alternatives were not always suitable or safe.

McDonald’s plan to source their paper straws from Transcend Packaging in Wales, and Huhtamaki in Belfast, for all 1,361 McDonald’s restaurants.

The straws will use paper from certified sustainable sources, the company said.

Why sustainability can help you win customers

84.5 per cent of small business owners believe that their customers are interested in seeing sustainable practices introduced.

Hot-button issues such as hunger in third-world countries and deforestation can be good marketing tools if your company uses recycled and electronic receipts, or a percentage of your earnings goes to supporting a charity.

This can provide that “feel-good experience” for customers, which then can translate into an emotional connection with your business. Consequently, this can lead to brand awareness and customer loyalty.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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