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McDonald’s in U.K., Ireland Ditch Plastic Straws for Paper

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According to a report this week by Two Sides International, Daventry, U.K., as of September, plastic straws will be replaced by sustainable and biodegradable paper alternatives in all McDonald’s UK and Ireland restaurants. The restaurant chain uses 1.8 million straws a day in the U.K.

The decision follows a successful trial in a number of McDonald’s U.K. restaurants to test how customers react to the switch to paper straws.Transcend Packaging in Wales, and Huhtamaki in Belfast, will supply the paper straws for all 1,361 McDonald’s restaurants The straws will use paper from certified sustainable sources, the company said.

McDonald’s is not the only company that has recently opted out of using plastic straws, other major restaurants, coffee shops and pubs are deciding to make a sustainable change. For instance, JD Wetherspoon pubs eliminated all plastic straws at the beginning of this year, and provided a biodegradable replacement that must be specifically requested by the customer. Other businesses, such as Costa Coffee, Pizza Express and Waitrose have also started to take action.

The BBC (London, U.K.) reported that an estimated 8.5 billion plastic straws, which can take hundreds of years to decompose, are used every year in the country. With more and more businesses eliminating the use of plastic straws, this will hopefully have a great contribution to helping the environment, by significantly reducing the number of plastic straws that are used in the U.K.

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