McDonald’s to switch to paper straws in some European locations

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The activist group SumofUs estimate that every day, McDonald's alone dispenses millions of plastic straws that customers discard and leave them to litter beaches or clog waterways and fill the dump.

"We do not have any further details to share at this time on the tests in other markets including the USA later this year", a McDonald's spokesperson told The Daily News.

McDonald’s said Friday, June 15, 2018 it will switch to paper straws at all its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and test an alternative to plastic ones in some of its US restaurants later this year.

Starting September, McDonald's restaurants United Kingdom and Ireland will begin transitioning to paper straws in all of its restaurants. Later this year, it will begin testing alternatives in select restaurants in the United States, France, Sweden, Norway and Australia.

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Some manufacturers have previously argued against the removal of plastic straws because they are needed by some people with disabilities, children and the elderly.

Plastic straws from a McDonald's restaurant.

"Most plastic straws are too lightweight to make it through the mechanical recycling sorter".

But regardless of why the single-use plastic bans are planned, the end result will be better for the environment.

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As environmentalists put pressure on businesses to move away from ocean-clogging, marine life-killing plastics, McDonald's is working to make the switch on its own.

"U.K. Environment Secretary Michael Gove called on other companies to follow the example of McDonald's", Said-Moorhouse continues.

Research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world's oceans by 2050, which has spurred policy makers, individuals and companies into action.

"McDonald's isn't the only major straw user to start tossing them aside", USA Today's Zlati Meyer points out.

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