McDonald’s announces plan to cut down on packaging waste

Rosie Lintott 14 November 2019 (Last Updated November 14th, 2019 11:15)

Fast food chain McDonald’s has launched a trial programme across Europe to eliminate plastic and improve sustainability in packaging.

McDonald’s announces plan to cut down on packaging waste
McDonald’s announces plastic and packaging trials across Europe. Credit: McDonald’s media

Fast food chain McDonald’s has launched trial programmes across Europe to reduce plastic and improve sustainability in packaging.

The company said that at present 78% of packaging used globally by McDonald’s is made from fibre.

As part of the ‘Better M’ scheme that aims to bring environmentally positive changes across McDonald’s sustainable packaging and recycling supply chain, the company will replace plastic McFlurry lids in every McDonald’s restaurant across Europe, The company said this will reduce more than 1,200 tonnes of plastic waste per year.

The introduction of a fibre-based lid for cold drinks made from 100% certified sustainable sources and recyclable materials will be trialled in France. Trials have started for plastic-free McFlurry spoons and the company is testing wooden and paper alternatives to find a material that works for customers as well as being sustainable.

An evolved paper straw is being launched across Europe, after customer feedback. The company said the new straws are stronger while still being fully recyclable.

The company said that across Europe by 2020 100% of primary fibre-based packaging will be from recycled or certified sources.

McDonald’s in Germany is trialling the ReCup programme. Customers are able to ask for a reusable coffee cup and can return it to any participating restaurant to be cleaned and reused.

Starting this week a toy take-back trial has launched in the UK where customers can return used Happy Meal toys at participating restaurants where they can be recycled.

The new initiatives are working towards McDonald’s Scale for Good commitments that aim to source all guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025.

McDonald’s Global Sustainability vice president Keith Kenny said: “We care about lessening our impact on the environment and know our customers do too. That’s why we’re finding new and innovative ways to reduce our use of packaging, switch to more sustainable materials and help our customers to reuse and recycle, too.

“The trials we are conducting across Europe are vital in helping us get first-hand feedback from customers on solutions that help them to be conscious consumers, without compromising on quality and the McDonald’s experience they love. Better M is a powerful platform to allow us to work with our customers and choose the right solutions to scale up across Europe.”