McDonald’s Australia Will Axe Plastic Cutlery And Replace It With Wooden Utensils

by : Emily Brown on : 02 Mar 2020 13:46
McDonald's Will Axe Plastic Cutlery And Replace It With Wooden Utensils Wikimedia/McDonalds

McDonald’s has announced plans to phase out plastic cutlery and replace it with wooden utensils at its restaurants in Australia. 

The company revealed the news at a national plastics summit hosted by federal Environmental Minister Sussan Ley in Canberra today, March 2.


It plans to phase out plastic cutlery by the end of 2020 in a bid to reduce landfill waste.

Plastic wastePixabay

Kylie Freeland, McDonald’s Australia supply chain and sustainability director, released a statement about the move, saying:

We’re committed to being an industry leader in sustainable practices, ultimately using our scale for good to positively impact challenges facing the communities we operate in.

By removing plastic straws and cutlery from McDonald’s restaurants, we are continuing to reduce our environmental footprint and will be removing more than 860 tonnes of plastic from our system.


The announcement comes after McDonald’s conducted a three-month trial with wooden cutlery in nine outlets across New Zealand last year.

McDonald’s announced it was phasing out the use of plastic straws in UK restaurants in June 2018, and the following year it scrapped plastic lids from McFlurry packaging.


In a joint statement, as per the New Zealand Herald, the Boomerang Alliance and the World Wide Fund Australia said plastic enters Australian oceans at a rate of 130,000 tonnes a year, and with plastic recycling rates only reaching 9%, they stated federal and state governments must intervene where the market has failed.

Plastic cutleryPixabay

Peter Shmigel, CEO of The Australian Council of Recycling, expressed hope today’s summit would incite real change.

He commented:

A summit that puts substance before stylistics is what we need to deal with the plastics problem.

[W]e need to get smarter with the plastic we do use, especially ensuring its recyclability and that plastic products are made with lower-emissions, domestically sourced recycled resin ASAP.


Hopefully McDonald’s will roll out wooden utensils across the globe in a continued effort to reduce plastic waste.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Australia, Environment, McDonalds, Plastic, recycling


New Zealand Herald
  1. New Zealand Herald

    McDonald's to phase out plastic cutlery across Australia by end of 2020