COMMUNITY | Staff Reporter, Australia

McDonald's to phase out plastic single use straws in Australia by 2020

The fast food giant joins a number of brands ditching plastic straws globally.

McDonald’s Australia pledged that in less than two years, all of its 970 restaurants around the country will no longer use plastic straws.

The company is currently experimenting with local suppliers to find viable alternatives, starting with a trial of paper straws in two restaurants from August. The trial is part of a larger, long-term global effort to identify viable, sustainable alternatives to its current single use plastic straws.

The move is also in line with McDonald’s goals for 100% of its guest packaging to be made from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025 and to have guest packaging recycling in all restaurants globally.

“As one of the world’s largest restaurant businesses, we know we have the responsibility and opportunity to make significant change,” Robert Sexton, McDonald’s Australia Director of Supply Chain, said in a statement. “Together with the global business, we have been working for some time to find appropriate alternatives. We know plastic straws is a topic our customers are passionate about and we will find a viable solution.”

Further to its commitments around plastic straws, McDonald’s is currently trialing cup recycling through a partnership with Simply Cups. The trial, which launched in April in eight restaurants, includes segmented dining room bins to separate liquids, plastics, paper cups and general waste.

“Beverage cups are a unique concern when it comes to recycling through normal paper recycling facilities due to the inner plastic lining. By separating the cups through designated bins we can ensure cups are diverted to the right facility to recycle this material,” Sexton added. 

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