McDonald's aims for fully sustainable packaging by 2025

Currently only half of company's packaging is made from sustainable materials and only 10% of its outlets recycle

McDonald’s would be one of the companies affected most by a 25p latte levy on disposable cups, proposed by MPs
McDonald’s would be one of the companies affected most by a 25p latte levy on disposable cups, proposed by MPs

McDonald’s has vowed to ensure all of its packaging is made from renewable, recycled or certified materials by 2025.

The restaurant chain will aim for all of its 37,000 restaurants around the world to be recycling by the same deadline.

Currently only half of McDonald’s packaging is made from sustainable materials and only 10 per cent of its outlets recycle, the company said.

It did not set a target for the proportion of waste to be recycled.

Fast-food chains and supermarkets have recently come under renewed pressure to tackle wasteful packaging following increased media exposure about the environmental damage it causes.

The announcement comes after Iceland became the first major UK retailer to commit to eliminating plastic packaging for all its own brand products. The supermarket said it would replace plastic with packaging made from materials including paper and pulp.

McDonald’s would be one of the companies most affected by a 25p latte levy on disposable cups, proposed by MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee this month.

Friends of the Earth waste campaigner Julian Kirby welcomed the move but said, “speedier action in some countries, such as the UK is surely possible”.

“With retailers such as Iceland planning to freeze out plastics from its own brand products in five years’ time, the Government’s aim to ditch avoidable plastic within a quarter of a century looks extremely meagre,” he said.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s UK said the company was committed to reducing its environmental impact and continues to “challenge ourselves and our supplier partners to help evolve our thinking, and this includes the recycling of coffee cups”.

The spokesperson added: “Since 2015, we have been installing recycling units which can now be found in over 1,000 of our UK restaurants, enabling our customers to easily separate paper cups from other waste packaging in order for them to be recycled.”

The latest move comes after McDonald’s updated its environmental policy to include the aim to axe polystyrene packaging from restaurants across the world.

Last spring, 32 per cent of McDonald’s shareholders voted for a resolution to end the use of containers made from polystyrene, known as foam in the US.

The policy on the company’s website has been updated with the additional line stating that the fast food giant plans to “eliminate foam packaging from [its] global system by the end of 2018”.

McDonald’s made no announcement about the policy and did not confirm when it had made the update. An archived version of the web page from August did not contain the statement about foam cups.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in