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McDonald's to ditch plastic straws in the UK and Ireland by 2019

Following a successful trial, the American firm said that it will transition to paper straws in the UK and Ireland in 2019.

Fast-food giant, McDonald's, has become the latest firm to say it will ban plastic straws in all its UK and Ireland restaurants by the end of the year.

Following a successful trial, the American company said that it will transition to paper straws in the UK and Ireland in 2019.

The ban will not extend to the rest of the chain’s footprint yet, however, McDonald’s restaurants in Belgium are also trialling alternatives to plastic straws.

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Trials are also planned for selected restaurants in the US, France, Sweden, Norway and Australia later this year. 

“McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good and working to find sustainable solutions for plastic straws globally,” said Francesca DeBiase Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Sustainability.

 “In addition to the exciting news from the UK today, we are 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.”

The latest pledge aligns with McDonald’s goal to source 100% of guest packaging from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025 and to have guest packaging recycling in all restaurants globally.  

Many businesses including Waitrose, Costa Coffee, Wagamama and JD Wetherspoons have already started to take action, banning or replacing plastic straws with alternative products.