McDonald's will sell paper straws in every restaurant in the UK

McDonald's will sell paper straws in every restaurant in the UK

"Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws", Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald's United Kingdom and Ireland, said.

McDonald's announced Friday that it would start testing an alternative to plastic straws in some of its USA restaurants, and would completely phase out the products in some of its European locations.

"Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws", a company spokesperson said.

Single-use straws are the scourge of the packaging-waste world because they don't easily biodegrade and aren't really necessary for most people when it comes to gulping a soft drink.

This decision follows a successful trial in selected restaurants earlier this year.

In America, 500 million plastic straws are used every day.

"We hope this work will support industry wide change and bring sustainable solutions to scale", Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain and Sustainability Francesca DeBiase said.

"The drive to eliminate plastic straws is a good step and it's symbolic - and symbols are important", he said.

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'We all have a responsibility to our environment and this simple yet effective initiative is a fine example to other large businesses, ' he said.

It follows Burger King, JD Wetherspoon, Costa Coffee, Pizza Express and Wagamama in ditching the plastic. And in Malaysia, McDonald's will try a new approach to dispensing straws - giving them out only if a customer requests one.

McDonald's isn't the only major straw user to start tossing them aside.

An increasing number of businesses are removing plastic straws from their operations in a bid to stem plastic waste which pollutes oceans and harms marine wildlife such as turtles and fish.

SeaWorld, Ikea and Royal Caribbean have already vowed to stop using plastic straws and bags.

The roll-out of the paper alternative came amid pressure on companies to opt out of some single-use plastic products which can take hundreds of years to decompose if not recycled. She said paper alternatives were not always suitable or safe.

The chain has been working with start-up Transcend Packaging, based in Wales, and Huhtamaki, an worldwide company that will produce the straws in Belfast.

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