McDonald’s has recently decided to join the effort to reduce plastic waste by removing straws from 36,000 restaurants. Municipal Waste production has increased annually from 88 million tons in 1980 to 258 million in 2014, as recorded in recent studies by the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2017 only 9% of all plastic produced was recycled.
McDonald’s claims they are actively searching for a sustainable solution to their waste problem. However, a recent petition received 480,000 signatures to convince McDonald’s to ban the use of straws in their restaurants worldwide. The campaign is called SomeOfUs and includes activists in the U.K.
Thanks to the recent efforts made by the campaign, McDonald’s has promised to make all packaging renewable by 2025, up from 50%. They’ve also said they’ll put recycling bins in place at all their restaurants in 2025, up from 10%.
Other food chains are participating in this movement; in fact 15% of new restaurant startups advertise sustainability in their packaging. This has improved from 11% last year, as told by Mintel marketing research.
Starbucks has invested in 10 million in grants for those who intend to invent a compostable coffee cup, while Dunkin’ Donuts plans to eliminate their foam cup by 2020. Chipotle also has planned to add recycling to their stores by 2020 and cut their waste in half by that time as well.
This is great news to the 78% of people in the US who feel companies should start going green. One third of all restaurant goers actually seek out restaurants that are environmentally conscious. More than 50% of all Americans don’t mind paying extra for packaging made for recycled material.