Burger King is scrapping plastic toys from the menu in a move to take ‘significant action’ in addressing the issue of plastic waste.
The fast food chain will no longer give away plastic toys with its children’s menus, and intends to encourage customers to bring in old promotional plastic toys, which it says it plans to melt to make other items.
In what has been recognised as a major step up in the fight against plastic waste, Burger King’s decision follows a recent petition by two Hampshire children who targeted the fast food chain, and its rival McDonald’s, to stop giving away free plastic toys.
The petition, orchestrated by Ella and Caitlin McEwan calls for companies to ‘think of the environment and stop giving plastic toys with their kids meals.’ The petition has received more than half a million signatures.
Despite this, McDonald’s has said that had no plans to scrap its toy giveaways, but will give customers the choice between a toy and fruit. The restaurant does plan to trial run giving parents the options of a book or a toy giveaway from next year.
“The gifts provide fun for many families and children. That’s why we’ll be running these trials, in order to give our customers a choice. They can also choose not to have a toy or gift at all,” Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, told the BBC.
Meanwhile, Burger King will provide bins in its restaurants to collect old toys. It said the move would save 320 tonnes of plastic a year.
The chain is now working with Pentatonic – a firm that makes consumer goods from recycled materials – to recycle collected plastic toys into restaurant items, such as trays and play areas.