McDonald’s is set to use paper drinking straws instead of plastic one in all of its branches in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The said announcement comes after the news that the government is planning to impose a ban on the sale of drinks stirrers, cotton buds, and plastic straws in England.
McDonald’s will start to pull out plastic straws from their sale this coming September.
The move follows a successful test run at some selected venues starting April. It was reported that some customers positively reacted to the change and were enthusiastic about protecting the environment.
The global fast-food chain has 1,361 restaurants across the United Kingdom.
Last year, Wagamama, JD Wetherspoon, and Burger King have all started to ditch the plastic straws.
The chief executive of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, Paul Pomroy, stated: “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.”
He added: “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 in helping to achieve this societal change.”
The chain has been working with Transcend Packaging, a start-up that is based in Wales, and Huhtamaki, an international company, to produce the straws in Belfast.
The Managing Director of Transcend Packaging Ltd, Lorenzo Angelucci, stated: “I am delighted that McDonald’s has taken this visionary step towards helping to reduce the environmental impact of the food industry through their purchase of paper straws.”
He added: “Transcend Packaging Ltd is a new company based in South Wales and focused on producing sustainable packaging solutions across the food and cosmetic industries.
“The Welsh Government has recognised this emerging sector and supported its establishment through a grant.
He continued: “Transcend will supply sustainable paper straws and folding cartons and will employ in the region of 200 people within the next three years.”
The fast-food chain is also testing alternatives to plastic straws in France, Belgium, Norway, and the United States. Also, in some parts of Latin America, Mcdonald’s is only offering plastic straws on request.
Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, said that the initiative was “simple but effective” and is considered to be a “fine example to other large businesses.”