The plastic drinking straw, one of the smallest components in the huge quantity of trash that remains after the fast-food meal, has become an important issue of environmental risks.
A group called SumOfUs has collected more than 480,000 names on an online petition calling on McDonald’s to stop using plastic straws. According to the group, McDonald’s hands out millions of single-use plastic straws a day.
Last year, an academic journal brought out a story estimating that only 9% of plastics ever produced were recycled, the consumer organization points out.
The SumOfUs group has presented a proposal to McDonald’s shareholders at their recently held annual meeting on Thursday, May 24, 2018, asking that the chain should find alternatives to plastic straws at its more than 36,000 restaurants worldwide. The group intended to put pressure on the shareholders of McDonald’s to ban the use of plastics in the packaging of food items.
Based on the most recent data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the nation produced 258 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2014, compared with 88 million tons in 1960 and about a quarter of it was various containers and packaging.
McDonald’s is recommending shareholders vote against the straw study proposal saying it’s already working to reduce waste and promote recycling.
McDonald’s chain, said, “We continue to work to find a more sustainable solution for plastic straws globally. In the meantime, we have adopted compostable straws in certain markets to meet regulations while we work with packaging experts to develop a planet-friendly, cost-effective answer for all McDonald’s restaurants.”
McDonald’s it is already committed to making all customer packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025, up from 50%. It also will institute recycling at all its restaurants by 2025, up from 10%.