McDonald’s unveils sustainable packaging and recycling program

Fast-food giant McDonald’s has launched its global ‘Better M’ platform, which aims to showcase innovative packaging and recycling solutions in restaurants across Europe.

McDonald’s is taking the fight against plastic waste into its own restaurants after announcing a wide-ranging program to remove and minimize plastic across Europe. The plan includes removing McFlurry lids in every European country in which McDonald’s operates and rolling out a new fiber-based lid across all cold drinks in France.

“We care about lessening our impact on the environment and know our customers do too,” said Keith Kenny, vice president of global sustainability at McDonald’s. “That’s why we’re finding new and innovative ways to reduce our use of packaging, switch to more sustainable materials and help our customers to reuse and recycle, too.”

The fast-food giant will also trial different packaging and recycling solutions at its restaurants across Europe, including alternatives to the plastic McFlurry spoon, a redesigned paper straw and toy take-back programs.

Selected restaurants across Europe will serve as testing grounds for innovative packaging concepts. The feedback will then inform which options are scaled up or adapted.

“The trials we are conducting across Europe are vital in helping us get first-hand feedback from customers on solutions that help them to be conscious consumers,” Kenny added.

Currently, 78% of packaging used by McDonald’s globally is made from fiber, a figure that increases to approximately 88% in European markets. Plastic comprises only 12% of packaging in Europe, which McDonald’s aims to lower through its new ’Better M’ platform.

McDonald’s restaurants in several European countries already provide recycling for packaging and other innovative ways of reusing packaging. For example, McDonald’s Germany is piloting a program called ReCup, where customers can ask for a reusable coffee cup and return it at a partnering McDonald’s restaurant to be cleaned and reused. In the Netherlands, restaurants offer recycled paper masks as part of the Happy Meal instead of balloons. And customers in the Ukraine receive their Sundae in a waffle cup, which they can eat.

Image credit: Joiarib Morales Uc via Unsplash

 

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