THe plastic straws will be replaced by the paper straws at the McDonald’s premises in the month of September.
It is the youngest company to exclude certain single-use plastic products, the decomposition of which can take hundreds of years if not recycled.
More than 1.8 million straws are being used by McDonald’s in the United Kingdom.
This decision follows a successful test in some restaurants earlier this year. The switch to paper straws will be completed next year. Environment Minister Michael Gove called it an “important contribution” to environmental support, adding that it was a good example for other large companies.
The ban has yet to extend to the rest of the chain’s global empire, but testing will begin at some restaurants in the US. USA, France and Norway. In some other countries, straws are only available upon request.
In April, the government proposed banning plastic straws and cotton buds in England. Many companies, including Waitrose, Costa Coffee, and Wagamama, have already taken action.
All JD Wetherspoon bars stopped using plastic straws earlier this year. Pizza Express has announced that it will replace all plastic straws with biodegradable straws by summer 2018.
Benefits of this change
And more than 60 independent British festivals, including Boardmasters and Bestival, have banned plastic straws from leaving their one-way locations by 2021. Most straws are made of plastic-like polypropylene. and polystyrene, which will take hundreds of years to decompose unless recycled. Many end up in landfills and oceans, and the BBC’s Blue Planet II highlighted the damage plastic can do to marine animals.
But not everyone believes that the ban is the total ban.
Plastic straws allow many people with disabilities to drink independently, Baroness Tanni Gray-Thompson said. Paper alternatives are not always appropriate or safe, he said.
And food packaging company Tetra Pak said plastic straws play an “important” role in cardboard boxes and should not be banned.
He says that straws with cardboard containers can be recycled if they are put back in the box. These innovative steps have helped McDonald’s to achieve the top position in the market.
“Ambitious government plans, combined with customer feedback, have helped speed up the plastic process and I am proud to be able to do our part,” said Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland.