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Published: Jun 20, 2018 Updated: Feb 20, 2024
Published: Jun 20, 2018 Updated: Feb 20, 2024

Graham Pollard

Lead Researcher for the Business Development Team with a wealth of knowledge having joined the family business in 1985.

McDonald’s plans to phase out plastic straws across the UK

Fast food giant McDonald’s has become the latest big foodservice name to outlaw plastic straws at its UK outlets.

The restaurant chain will replace plastic straws with paper ones and follows a successful trial in selected outlets. It will complete the move to paper next year.

In a statement, McDonald’s said that the move reflected the “broader public debate” and that its customers “wanted to see a move on straws”. Environment Secretary Michael Gove backed the decision calling it a “significant contribution” to the environment.

The UK division’s stance follows in the footsteps of other organisations. Pub chain Weatherspoon is eliminating plastic straws across 900 outlets while Costa will phase them out over the course of the year. Earlier this month hotel chain Hilton announced it would be eliminating plastic straws and bottles worldwide.

Last month, McDonald’s shareholders blocked a move to force it to reveal how many plastic straws it uses worldwide.

Source: Packaging News

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PET (1) and HDPE (2) are widely accepted in household recycling waste. Soft/flexible LDPE (4) products like carrier bags can be taken to supermarkets. Remember that recycling facilities differ between councils, so check with your local authority to see what you can put in your home recycling bin.



PET or PETE. Polyethylene terephthalate e.g. soft drink bottles, fruit punnets.



HDPE. High-density polyethylene e.g. milk bottles, shampoo bottles



PVC. Polyvinyl chloride e.g. window frames, shower curtains, toys.



LDPE. Low-density polyethylene e.g. carrier bags, rings/yokes for multipacks of cans.



PP. Polypropylene e.g. bottle caps, margarine tubs, carrier bags.



PS. Polystyrene e.g. takeaway cups and containers, yoghurt pots.