McDonald’s will start phasing out plastic straws in about 1,300 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the company said Friday, replacing them with paper straws in restaurants starting in September.
The transition to alternative straws in those countries should be complete in 2019. Belgian restaurants are also testing straw alternatives, with more trials planned for select restaurants in the U.S., France, Sweden, Malaysia, Norway and Australia later this year, McDonald’s said.
Francesca DeBiase, executive vice president of global supply chain and sustainability, said McDonald’s is testing straw alternatives in other countries “to provide the best experience for our customers.”
“We hope this work will support industry-wide change and bring sustainable solutions to scale,” she said in a statement.
The company said it would also experiment with offering straws on request only in some global markets.
“We are eager to learn from these tests around the world to develop solutions that are scalable across the globe,” the company said.
The announcement follows several planet-friendly goals made by McDonald’s in recent months. One goal is to source 100-percent of guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025, the company said.
In March, the Chicago-based chain set an ambitious goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 36 percent by 2030.
The burger giant, which recently relocated its headquarters to a nine-story LEED certified building in Chicago, said it will reach its emissions reduction target by adding innovative and energy-efficient technologies at its restaurants, including energy-efficient kitchen equipment, sustainable packaging and recycling.
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