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McDonald’s Makes It the Last Straw

McDonald's Makes It the Last Straw

McDonald’s Going Retro with Paper Straws

Remember those little paper straws we use to get with our milk in grade school? Or maybe you just remember your parents telling you how the delinquent students could turn those little paper straws into spitball cannons.

Either way, you may be seeing more paper straws when McDonald’s starts phasing out plastic straws at its UK locations. (Hopefully, it won’t be long before this change makes it across the pond.) In addition to switching to paper straws, McDonald’s is also keeping them behind the counter and giving them out to customers only upon request.

This move brings McDonald’s another step closer to its goal of all food packaging being recyclable. It has already eliminated polystyrene and uses recycled cardboard. Next on the list: cup lids.

The only thing left for us to move forward on are the lids that go on to our cups. Those are complicated, but we’re working with our suppliers to find a solution to that,” said Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s Chief Executive, in an interview with Sky News. “We’re really close, so we hope within the next year to be able to have a lid that’s recyclable and serves the same purpose—for hot and cold drinks.

And McDonald’s is not alone. Other restaurants are not only getting rid of straws, but also expanded polystyrene, or Styrofoam. Plus, many cities in the United States are even banning or limiting the use of plastic straws in restaurants.

With viable options like paper or bamboo straws, restaurants are finding ways to adapt to the loss of plastic straws. Just search the Internet and you can find several companies that make paper straws in a variety of colors. Besides, there is something fun about repurposing paper straws for a quick art project, party favor or maybe even a homemade pixie stick.Reuseable Straws

Not a fan of cute and colorful paper straws? No worries! Simply join me in turning down any straw the next time you order a drink. That one simple change may be the easiest step you can take to living more sustainably and reducing plastic pollution. Together, we can reduce mountains of plastic!

Saying So Long to Plastic Straws

comment_2How do you avoid using plastic straws? Have you made the switch to reusable straws or other eco-friendly alternatives? Share your stories of success in the comments below.


Do you refuse straws at restaurants?

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Leigh-Ann Ross
Leigh-Ann Ross(@leighannross)
3 years ago

YES! Love seeing these changes!! I use my stainless steel straws on a regular basis, but have also used paper, and also PASTA straws!! ALL are great options!

Amy Taivalkoski
Amy Taivalkoski
3 years ago

Too bad they are not doing the same in the US: “Company shareholders at the annual meeting Thursday followed a recommendation from McDonald’s board of directors to soundly defeat a proposal aimed at getting rid of the omnipresent drinking utensil served with soft drinks, coffees and shakes.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-mcdonalds-wont-ban-plastic-straws/

3 years ago

Amy, thanks for sharing. Hopefully the McDonald’s U.K. straw ban will be so popular that the company will consider it in the U.S. as well. Meanwhile, we as customers can continue to refuse (or ask for an alternative to) plastic straws or simply bring our own.

Kim Metzger
Kim Metzger(@kimetzger)
3 years ago

I had our Norwex straws in my metal double walled ‘all day cup’. The noise of it rattling in an empty cup drove me nuts when I was driving. I kept thinking the sound was from my car. I bought some bamboo straws and solved the problem! I like these better for shakes too as they’re thicker.

Angela Shuman
Angela Shuman(@redhot50)
3 years ago

Why is the USA always last on these type of movements. Why not start paper straws here first and then the UK. We need to step up first once in a while.

Mindy Simonson
Mindy Simonson(@msimonson10)
3 years ago

I don’t use straws with my coffee drinks, but that’s mainly because they just don’t work for me. I am aware of how harmful straws are so I am trying to be better about not using them. I do stop my kids from using throw away straws at home as much as possible. Next step will be to start carrying around my Norwex straws. It is too bad that the US McDonalds isn’t already on board with this though. And I just have to say it is funny that they clarify what state Edmonds City is in but not Seattle on the list above lol.

Michelle Galloway
Michelle Galloway(@magalloway)
3 years ago

Love my Norwex Stainless Steel straws!! I plan to start bringing them along with me in my reusable wet wipes bag when I eat out!

Nel Robertson
Nel Robertson(@nelr)
3 years ago

Would be great to be able to play the footage of the damage that plastic straws is doing to our environment and animals. They are harming them every day, it might make them open their eyes and realise that this needs to happen now! Not just start with a few stores and then eventually get to the rest.

Rachael Duby
Rachael Duby(@dubygirl4114)
3 years ago

Love seeing this , wish the USA would do the same

Lia Thompson
Lia Thompson(@liashine)
3 years ago

Generally McDonald’s seems to be big corporation that contributes to a lot of environmental problems with the amount of meat they need in a day. I know this is just an example but they really must be trying harder. They are just interested in making themselves look good so they can take in even more money. Glad to hear some companies are making a bit of an effort but not nearly enough considering the size of these gyres in the ocean 🙁

Sandra Arnold
Sandra Arnold(@sandiarnold)
3 years ago

It’s awesome to see big corporations taking steps to help end the amount of plastics going in to our environment /waterways! I love my reusable straws, reusable wet wipes and more. I wish that the factories that make the plastic straws were shut down. If there isn’t any made, there won’t be any added to what’s already a serious problem.

Sandy Swift
Sandy Swift(@swifty)
3 years ago

I always ask for no straw. I have my stainless steel straw in my bag if I want to use a straw but more often than not just go without. I hope the UK McDonalds trend continues across the world and they all become free of plastic straws.

Joanna Bogh
Joanna Bogh(@jbogh)
3 years ago

I will be starting to now.

3 years ago
Reply to  Joanna Bogh

Wonderful, Joanna! Thanks for making the conscious choice to avoid single-use plastic straws!

Patricia Pinon
Patricia Pinon(@t-pinon)
3 years ago

I hope that the US will catch on to this movement. We can do better for the world and for our children.