The world's biggest restaurant chain will aim to get 100 per cent of its packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025, with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council certification, which ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests.
The fast food giant also aims to recycle guest packaging in all its restaurants by then, compared with only 10 percent of its restaurants now.
The new goals expand upon McDonald's existing goal that by 2020, all of its fiber-based packaging will come from recycled or certified sources where no deforestation occurs.
This announcement comes after the Chicago Tribune reported last week that McDonald's planned to stop using foam cups by the end of this year.
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The nation's largest restaurant company - which has faced criticism over the years on a wide variety of societal issues including childhood obesity, low wages and animal treatment - can have an oversize impact on changes in its industry. As it is now, the company says that 50% of customer packaging meets its new standards.
McDonald's has pledged to make its packaging and restaurants more Earth-friendly.
Environmental groups praised the fast food company's decision to extend its sustainable packaging practices.
McDonald's isn't new to the pursuit of waste reduction for reduced environmental impact as it first focused on sustainable packaging almost 25 years ago by establishing a connection with the Environmental Defense Fund.
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"McDonald's continues to raise the sustainability bar by setting ambitious goals and collaborating with partners across the value chain for maximum impact", said Tom Murray, vice president of the fund's EDF+Business division.
It is the latest retailer to announce sustainability plans following a warning from Theresa May that the 8.3billion tons of plastic produced since the 1950s will more than triple to 34billion tons by 2050 without urgent action.
The nonprofit organization As You Sow first filed a shareholder resolution with McDonald's in 2012 urging the company to accelerate post-consumer recycling goals. Currently, roughly 10% of the more than 36,000 McDonald's locations allow people to recycle.
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