McDonald’s has joined the fight against plastic waste having detailed plans to remove plastic toys from its Happy Meals from 2021.
In a press release, the company stated that from next year every Happy Meal in the UK will include either a soft toy, a paper-based toy or a book, as opposed to a toy made from non-recyclable plastic.
McDonald’s went on to state that the initiative will remove more than 3,000 metric tons of plastic from its business. It also marks the biggest reduction of plastic by McDonald’s UK and Ireland to date.
“We care passionately about the environment and are committed to reducing plastic across our business including within our Happy Meal,” said Gareth Helm, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of McDonald’s UK and Ireland.
“Families have high expectations of us and we’re working as hard as we can to give them the confidence that their Happy Meal is as sustainable as possible. Getting that right is a big responsibility, but we believe the changes we’re making today have the potential to make a big difference.”
From this month, McDonald’s is going to trial paper packaging for Happy Meals toys, the first time this has been done by the restaurant in the UK. From August, paper packaging will be used to wrap books in Happy Meals, a move which will help remove 200 tonnes of plastic from the business by 2021.
Later this year, McDonald’s will give customers the options to choose between a toy or a book with Happy Meals before it carries out a five week toy amnesty across the nation, asking for customers to return any unwanted plastic toys to restaurants.
The company will then recycle the plastic from the returned items to create play equipment for Ronald McDonald House Charities in the UK and Ireland.