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Wired News – Fast-Food Chain McDonald’s to Replace Plastic Straws with Paper Straws across Restaurants in UK and Ireland

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LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / June 19, 2018 / If you want access to our free research report on McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD), all you need to do is sign up now by clicking the following link www.active-investors.com/registration-sg/?symbol=MCD as the Company's latest news hit the wire. On June 15, 2018, the Company announced that it plans to replace plastic straws with environment-friendly paper straws across its restaurants in the UK and Ireland. The Company is also exploring eco-friendly alternatives to plastic straws and plans to test these options at its restaurants across other global locations. Register today and get access to over 1,000 Free Research Reports by joining our site below:


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Plans for McDonald's Restaurants in UK and Ireland

The transition to paper straws will be carried out in a phased manner and will involve 1,361 McDonald's restaurants. The transition is expected to start at these restaurants from September 2018 onwards and completed by 2019.

Additionally, the Company has started testing alternatives to plastic straws since the early part of FY18 at its restaurants in Belgium. It plans to start testing alternatives at select restaurants in the US, France, Sweden, Norway, and Australia in the later part of FY18. The Company has also started offering straws only when requested in several markets, including Malaysia. The Company plans to collate the test results regarding the use of various eco-friendly alternatives to plastic straws at the various locations globally, and develop the best solutions which will be implemented across its restaurants globally. McDonald's is currently present in over 37,000 locations in more than 100 countries.

Commenting on the matter, Francesca DeBiase, EVP - Global Supply Chain and Sustainability, McDonald's, said:

"McDonald's is committed to using our scale for good and working to find sustainable solutions for plastic straws globally. In addition to the exciting news from the UK today, we are testing straw alternatives in other countries to provide the best experience for our customers. We hope this work will support industry wide change and bring sustainable solutions to scale."

Environment Goals and Progress

McDonald's has set ambitious goals for reducing the environmental impact resulting from its packaging and waste. The Company has also set a goal of having 100% of its guest packaging from ‘renewable, recycled, or certified sources' across all its restaurants globally by 2025. The current decision to transition to paper straws is a step in achieving these goals.

McDonald's has already taken many steps in this direction, and as of 2017, 50% of the Company's guest packaging is sourced from renewable, recycled, or certified sources. Since 2016, 64% of the Company's fiber-based packaging is sourced from certified or recycled sources. The Company aims to source 100% of its fiber-based packaging from certified or recycled sources by 2020. The Company has also made great strides in the recycling of its waste from guest packaging. It has put in place effective recycling and litter programs and partnerships in 12 of its 16 markets.


It is estimated that McDonald's uses approximately 1.8 million straws every day in the UK alone. These one-time use plastic straws are not easily biodegradable as they are made out of polypropylene and polystyrene, which take hundreds of years to decompose. As these plastic straws are not recycled properly, they end up in landfill and the oceans. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum, oceans will contain more plastics than fish by 2050 and the world's landfill waste will emit methane, which is a greenhouse gas which is far more harmful than carbon dioxide. BBC's documentary series on marine life in 2017, Blue Planet II, played a key role in creating awareness amongst people about the dangers of using plastics. The series highlighted the damage plastic can cause to marine wildlife and rallied people to help reduce plastic waste.

Hence, moving on to paper straws will be a great step in reducing the environmental impact of waste from packaging materials.

The Company's decision is also influenced by increasing consumer awareness about environment, Planet Earth, and pressure from governments. The UK government proposed a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds across the UK in April 2018, in a bid to reduce plastic waste. Similarly, in May 2018, the European Union proposed a ban on plastic straws and the Indian government has committed to the ban of single-use plastic by 2022.

Even before the UK government's proposal to ban plastic straws, many restaurants and shops in the UK like Waitrose, Costa Coffee, and Wagamama had started banning them. The restaurant chain Pizza Express has plans to replace plastic straws with eco-friendly options by the summer of 2018.

Stock Performance Snapshot

June 18, 2018 - At Monday's closing bell, McDonald's' stock marginally fell 0.11%, ending the trading session at $166.28.

Volume traded for the day: 4.08 million shares, which was above the 3-month average volume of 3.98 million shares.

Stock performance in the last month – up 3.08%; previous three-month period – up 4.57%; and past twelve-month period – up 9.40%

After yesterday's close, McDonald's' market cap was at $131.51 billion.

Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio was at 22.04.

The stock has a dividend yield of 2.43%.

The stock is part of the Services sector, categorized under the Restaurants industry.


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