Macron’s loving it: French PM hails McDonald’s reusables as EU goes after single-use plastics

French President Emmanuel Macron retweeted a picture of the fast food containers

Samuel Webb
Thursday 01 December 2022 17:21 GMT
McDonald's: 'McBaguette'

McDonald’s is trialling reusable containers at its French restaurants as the EU considers slashing single-use plastic waste - and President Emmanuel Macron is McDelighted.

The fast food giant is a massive producer of plastic waste – only half of McDonald’s packaging is made from sustainable materials and only 10 per cent of its outlets recycle. Research commissioned by campaign group Surfers Against Sewage found Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and McDonald’s are responsible for producing a staggering 39 per cent of all branded pollution in the UK.

The containers caught the eye of Macron, who retweeted a picture by @juanbuis of the containers and said: “The anti-waste law is not only the end of plastic straws. Look around you: in France, we are making changes to our consumption patterns and reducing our waste.

“We are pushing to do it globally. Let’s change the situation!”

A recent draft of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive puts forward all packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030.

On average, each European resident generates almost 180 kg of packaging waste per year, according to EU figures.

Packaging is one of the main uses of virgin materials as 40 per cent of plastics and 50 per cent of paper used in the EU are destined for packaging.

The report states that without action, the EU would see a further 19 per cent increase in packaging waste by 2030, and for plastic packaging waste a predicted 46 per cent increase.

The legislation aims to ensure reusable packaging options, get rid of unnecessary packaging, limit overpackaging, and provide clear labels to support correct recycling.

Earlier this month it was reported that McDonald’s was axing plastic cutlery in favour of paper-based spoons, knives and forks across England and Wales.

The fast-food giant said it hoped the move would eliminate 858 metric tonnes of plastic each year.

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