Two of the world’s largest multinational companies have announced plans to phase-out single use plastics, with McDonald’s Australia trialing paper straws and Disney removing disposable straws and stirrers from its theme parks.
McDonald’s will trial paper straws in two Australian restaurants next month, with the change expected to roll-out across all 970 restaurants nationwide by 2020.
The trial forms part of a more concentrated, long-term effort to identify alternatives to single-use plastics across McDonald’s restaurants globally.
In fact, the global fast food chain has committed to replacing all packaging with renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025.
“We know plastic straws is a topic our customers are passionate about and we will find a viable solution,” McDonald’s Australia supply chain director Robert Sexton said in a statement.
McDonald’s announcement follows Starbucks’ recent commitment to removing plastic straws from all 28, 000 stores – throughout the next two years.
Starbucks will replace single use plastic straws with a recyclable sippy-cup lid, and described the move as ‘a line in the sand for other large brands to follow.’
Meanwhile, Disney has announced it will phase-out single use plastic straws and beverage stirrers from its theme parks, starting mid 2019.
“Eliminating plastic straws and other plastic items are meaningful steps in our long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship”, said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products.
“These new global efforts help reduce our environmental footprint, and advance our long-term sustainability goals.”
At a consumer level, there are simple steps we can all take to reduce our dependency on single-use plastics:
- Single-use water bottles take over 1,000 years to biodegrade. Carrying your own stainless steel or glass water bottle helps the environment and also reduces your exposure to BPA – a harmful chemical commonly found in plastics.
- Straws suck! Each year 8.5 billion plastic straws are used just once before being thrown away. Rather than a single-use straw, try a reusable option made from paper, stainless steel or even sustainable bamboo.
- It’s estimated that 500 billion disposable cups are discarded into landfills every year! Invest in a coffee cup made from glass, bamboo or stainless steel, and BYO to coffee shops.
How do you reduce your use of single use plastics in everyday life?