McDonald's to scrap plastic straws in UK and Ireland

McDonald's has joined the fight against plastic pollution by switching to paper straws at its restaurants in the Unit...

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 4:14 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 4:14 PM

McDonald's has joined the fight against plastic pollution by switching to paper straws at its restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The change, which will begin to take effect in September, follows trials of paper straws at select locations. The US fast food chain said a majority of its customers supported the move away from plastic.

"Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws but to do so without compromising their overall experience when visiting our restaurants," said Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald's UK and Ireland.

McDonald's uses 1.8 million straws each day at its 1,361 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company said the changeover would be complete in 2019.

Plastic straws are the sixth most common type of litter globally, according to Litterati, an app that identifies and maps trash. Only 1% are recycled, largely because they are made of a mixture of polypropylene and polystyrene.

According to the UK government, 1 million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals die every year from eating or getting tangled in plastic waste. And research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world's oceans by 2050.

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove called on other companies to follow the example of McDonald's.

"McDonald's has made a significant investment in UK manufacturing to produce an alternative to plastic, showing British businesses are taking a global lead," he said in a statement.

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

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 flurry of commitments comes as efforts to eliminate single-use plastic intensify.

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. But it could take years to come into effect.

Related: Europe plans ban on plastic cutlery, straws and more

In April, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced the United Kingdom would look to ban plastic-stemmed cotton swabs, stirrers and straws. She urged Commonwealth countries to commit to the fight against plastic waste at a meeting in London.

McDonald's said that plastic straws would still be available "for those that require it," but they will be kept behind the counter.

Some manufacturers have previously argued against the removal of plastic straws because they are needed by some people with disabilities, children and the elderly.

-- Laura Smith-Spark and Jacopo Prisco contributed to this report.

West Lafayette
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 60°
Kokomo
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 59°
Rensselaer
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 52°
Fowler
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 52°
Williamsport
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 60°
Crawfordsville
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 56°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 59°
Delphi
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Monticello
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Logansport
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Some more scattered rain with windy & cooler conditions.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119066

Reported Deaths: 3612
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21563768
Lake10745324
Elkhart6734112
St. Joseph6679115
Allen6364205
Hamilton4965109
Vanderburgh384231
Hendricks2779124
Monroe267137
Tippecanoe259013
Johnson2362125
Clark226757
Porter222447
Delaware201162
Cass19589
Vigo187928
Madison171475
LaPorte151941
Warrick140743
Floyd140464
Howard133964
Kosciusko127117
Bartholomew119357
Marshall102124
Dubois100919
Boone99746
Grant96636
Hancock94843
Noble92932
Henry82226
Jackson77610
Wayne77314
Morgan73940
Shelby68329
Daviess68129
Dearborn67928
LaGrange64711
Clinton63414
Harrison59824
Putnam59011
Gibson5455
Knox5379
Lawrence51829
Montgomery51321
DeKalb49111
White48814
Decatur46139
Miami4394
Greene42936
Fayette42314
Jasper4032
Steuben3977
Scott39311
Posey3541
Sullivan33812
Jennings31712
Franklin31525
Clay3105
Ripley3108
Orange28724
Whitley2876
Carroll28013
Adams2773
Wabash2758
Starke2737
Washington2702
Wells2694
Spencer2683
Jefferson2523
Huntington2503
Fulton2462
Tipton22922
Randolph2238
Perry22213
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1690
Pike1691
Rush1584
Vermillion1320
Fountain1302
Blackford1223
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1033
Benton860
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0227

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events