McDonalds to replace plastic straws with paper ones in UK and Ireland

Irving Hamilton
June 18, 2018

In an announcement today, the American chain will be taking measures to swap plastic for paper straws, after a customer petition warned of ocean pollution. The company says it will begin transitioning to paper straws at all of its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland in September.

The Island's outlet on Peel Road went through 60,000 in May alone. "You could say it should've been done earlier, but it's certainly better late than never."For now, the ban on plastic straws will only concern United Kingdom and Ireland restaurants".

"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 United Kingdom and Ireland, to CNN.

Fast-food giant McDonald's will replace the plastic straws served in its Irish restaurants with paper alternatives in a bid to cut down on plastics in the environment.

Small, light, and hard to avoid, it's no wonder plastic straws dumped into the sea get stuck in sea turtles' nostrils, lodged in the stomachs of baby seabirds, and end up in our food chain after being eaten by fish.

More than 60 music festivals, including Bestival, have also committed to eradicating plastic straws from all of their sites by 2021.

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

Ikea and SeaWorld have also promised to stop using plastic straws and bags.

Restaurant leaders noted that customers reacted positively to the paper straws.

The rising levels of plastic waste in the world's oceans have become a hot topic in recent weeks, with the European Union and the British government among those to propose bans on certain single-use products such as cotton buds and plastic straws. Among the things that they are trying to ban include plastic straws, plastic plates, coffee stirrers, and cotton swabs.

Though McDonald's move was widely applauded, decisions to do away with plastic have been met with some concern-namely, providing accessibility to consumers with disabilities who requireplastic straws.

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