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McDonald's New Paper Straws Are Not Recyclable, It Has Emerged

McDonald's New Paper Straws Are Not Recyclable, It Has Emerged

McDonald's began introducing paper straws this year in a bid to reduce their plastic footprint, but it's been revealed the new iterations cannot be recycled.

An internal company memo told staff that the paper straws "are not yet recyclable" and should be "disposed of in general waste until further notice," The Sun has reported.

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Last year, the fast food chain made the decision to switch to paper straws following a customer campaign which gained nearly 500,000 backers at the time, calling for an eco-friendly alternative.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Announcing the decision, McDonald's said at the time: "Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws."

An insider told The Sun this week: "When McDonald's introduced paper straws it was getting pats on the back for being environmentally responsible.

"But it seems like it was a stunt to appease green campaigners because the things go straight in the rubbish. It's ridiculously stupid."

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When the news straws were introduced they received criticism from fans of the fast food chain who claim they are not fit for purpose. Some complained paper straws were dissolving into their drinks and ruining the taste, causing 30,000 to sign a petition to reinstate the plastic ones.

In response, the brand thickened their paper straws.

A McDonald's spokesperson told PRETTY 52: "Last year our customers asked us to change our plastic straws to paper ones, we listened and made that switch."

They added: "As a result of customer feedback we have strengthened our paper straws so, while the materials are recyclable, their current thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers, who also help us recycle our paper cups.

"We are working with them to find a solution, and so the advice to put paper straws in general waste is therefore temporary. This waste from our restaurants does not go to landfill but is used to generate energy."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Before the switch, McDonald's were using an estimated 1.8 million straws in the UK every day, amid mounting concerns about the impact on the environment.

The company vowed to introduce paper straws into 1,361 outlets in the UK and Northern Ireland and to become completely plastic straw-free by the end of 2019.

However, the news straws received criticism from fans of the fast food chain who claim they are not fit for purpose. Some complained paper straws were dissolving into their drinks and ruining the taste, causing 30,000 to sign a petition to reinstate the plastic ones.

McDonald's added: "We are working hard to boost training and education in our restaurants to increase our recycling rates, and also encourage customers to recycle. Over the past few years, the number of items we recycle has increased in line with our volume growth, in particular we have seen an increase in cups recycled - with 40 million recycled last year, however we recognise this is something we need to continue to focus on."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Tasty, TV and Film, mcdonalds

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance journalist working for Pretty 52. After graduating from the University of Sussex, Ciara worked as a writer at GLAMOUR Magazine and later as the Assistant Editor of Yahoo Style UK. Please contact her on ciarasheppard@hotmail.co.uk.

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