McDonald’s eliminates plastic straws in Britain, bowing to environmental pressure

McDonald's to replace plastic straws with paper

"The straw stays in our environment without decomposing for hundreds of years", said Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn), one of the bill's sponsors.

Varney and his business partners, all stalwarts of the packaging industry, watched as chains including Costa Coffee, Wetherspoons and Pizza Express announced plans to phase out plastic straws in favour of biodegradable paper.

McDonald's has announced that it will complete its transition to paper straws in Ireland and the U.K.by 2019. "We hope this work will support industrywide change and bring sustainable solutions to scale", she added. Most people do not necessarily use the straws when it comes to gulping a soft drink.

While paper straws are marginally more expensive than plastic straws, there are numerous benefits not captured in the numbers.

"Later this year, McDonald's will begin testing alternatives in select restaurants in the U.S., France, Sweden, Norway and Australia".

Some environmentally conscious people in the United States say that's what they already do, toting their own reusable straw, while they wait for a plastic straw ban to be introduced on these shores. Transcend Packaging, the owner and operator of the new plant, has already reached out to 1,361 McDonald's restaurants throughout the United Kingdom.

"U.K. Environment Secretary Michael Gove called on other companies to follow the example of McDonald's", Said-Moorhouse continues.

The campaigns against straws gained momentum following the BBC's Blue Planet II series which highlighted the danger plastic poses to marine life. "Indeed, all companies need to urgently take action to reduce the plastic pollution that they have contributed to for decades". "And research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world's oceans by 2050", writes Lauren Said-Moorhouse for CNNMoney.

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