Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

McDonald’s to replace plastic straws with paper versions across all UK and Ireland restaurants

McDonald's (PA)
McDonald's (PA)

MCDONALD’S is replacing plastic straws with paper ones across all its UK and Ireland restaurants after a successful trial.

A roll-out of paper straws in 1,361 restaurants will begin from September, with the process to be completed next year.

The move comes as pressure grows on companies to reduce single-use plastic products and packaging, amid concerns over plastic pollution in the oceans where items such as straws end up harming wildlife like turtles and fish.

The Government has unveiled plans that could see plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds banned from sale in England as part of efforts to cut the amount of waste which ends up rivers and oceans.

McDonald’s said it had found two suppliers to meet its needs for paper straws, the start-up Transcend Packaging based in Wales, and Huhtamaki, a global company which will produce the straws at its plant in Belfast.

The restaurant chain has conducted a trial of the paper replacements at a handful of venues since April, and found customers reacted positively to the change, with the majority supporting the effort to protect the environment.

McDonald’s has already taken steps in all its restaurants in the UK and Ireland to put plastic straws behind the counter to reduce waste.

The new straws will use paper coming from certified sustainable sources, the company said.

The company is the latest to ditch plastic straws, with businesses including Burger King, JD Wetherspoon, Costa Coffee, Pizza Express and Wagamama all making the move away from them.

Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: “Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws but to do so without compromising their overall experience when visiting our restaurants.

“Over the past few months we’ve been working closely with supplier partners to find a solution that works both for our customers, and that the supply is there given the size of our business.

“The Government’s ambitious plans, combined with strong customer opinion, has helped to accelerate the move away from plastic and I’m proud that we’ve been able to play our part in helping to achieve this societal change.”

McDonald's is replacing plastic straws with paper ones from September (McDonald's/PA)
McDonald’s is replacing plastic straws with paper ones from September (McDonald’s/PA)

Alternatives to plastic straws are being tested in Belgium and trials will begin in selected restaurants in the US, France and Norway.

In parts of Latin America and Malaysia, the company is starting to offer straws on request only.

Francesca DeBiase, executive vice president, global supply chain and sustainability, 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. ”

The move in the UK and Ireland has been supported by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who said it was a “significant contribution” to helping the environment.

“We all have a responsibility to our environment and this simple yet effective initiative is a fine example to other large businesses,” he said.