McDonald's to phase out plastic straws in UK restaurants

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

McDonald's to phase out plastic straws in UK restaurants
McDonald’s is to stop using plastic straws in all its UK and Ireland restaurants after nearly 500,000 people signed a petition asking the company to remove them.

The fast food chain will start phasing out the products from September in favour of a paper alternative.

The move will impact McDonald's 1,361 UK restaurants, but not its 36,000 global sites.

It comes after international consumer group SumOfUs launched a petition in January​ calling for a global ban on plastic straws across McDonald’s estate. It has now reached over 489,000 signatures.

“Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws but to do so without compromising their overall experience when visiting our restaurants,” says Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald’s UK and Ireland.

The UK Government will launch a consultation in to a possible ban on plastic straws and drinks stirrers​ later this year amid growing concerns about their environmental impact.

McDonald’s, which uses 1.8m straws a day in the UK, joins a growing number of chefs and hospitality groups cutting down on plastic use.

Neil Rankin has replaced plastic straws in his Temper restaurants with a variety made from corn starch and stopped using vacuum packing two years ago.

D&D London has banned plastic straws across its 40 sites, while both Deliveroo and JustEat have introduced more eco-friendly packaging for restaurant deliveries.

Most straws are made from plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene, which take hundreds of years to decompose if they are not recycled.

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