McDonald’s will be removing plastic lids from all McFlurry packaging in UK franchises as of September, the fast food chain announced today.
The chain plans to overhaul the packaging of its UK menu, ditching single-use plastic from not only its ice creams but also the salad options.
All of the fast food giant’s main meal and side salad options will now be served in cardboard made from 50 per cent recycled content, rather than the plastic bowls they’re currently served in.
The McFlurry will perhaps get the biggest transformation though, getting rid of plastic lids in favour of ‘carton board’ packaging. The fast food chain has admitted customers will still have to use a plastic spoon to eat their ice creams, however.
As per Business Green, McDonald’s said the changes will a reduce plastic waste by a total of 485 metric tonnes every year – a huge step in the right direction to tackling plastic waste and pollution.
The news comes after the chain’s decision to ban all plastic straws from its restaurants last year, when they confirmed a massive 1.8 million straws were used every day in the UK alone.
This will no doubt be welcome news for many of McDonald’s customers, as consumer backlash over unnecessary plastic use continues to rise.
The supply chain director at McDonald’s UK, Beth Hart, said:
I am delighted that today’s news means we will be serving our much loved and new menu items in an even more sustainable way.
Removing plastic lids from the McFlurry, and introducing new cardboard packaging for salads, will save nearly 500 metric tonnes of plastic a year. It’s the latest step in our sustainability journey.
We are committed to listening to our customers and finding solutions with our suppliers that work for them, this is the latest example of that – but by no means the end.
However, the director admitted more still needed to be done to tackle plastic waste in their packaging.
By 2025, McDonald’s has promised to source all its packaging globally from renewable or recyclable sources. The fast food chain is also aiming for a 36 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The chain, which has approximately 1,200 stores across the UK, aims to be plastic-free within five years’ time in a bid to tackle plastic pollution.
The shift to recyclable packaging is currently only planned for UK restaurants, and will be rolled in from September this year – exactly one year after paper straws were adopted.
Positive steps, but there’s plenty more to be done across the entire industry, and society as a whole.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).