We're all mega environmental these days, adamantly striking out against companies that over use the plastic because David Attenborough showed us all it ends up in the sea. McDonald's has taken that to heart, and after announcing it would be cutting down on the amount of plastic straws it uses, the company has announced every British and Irish branch will be swapping them out for paper versions.
This news comes a couple of months after the chain stopped letting people take as many straws as they like, and after a trial involving paper straws in select branches across the UK. It's part of the company's ongoing goal to minimise the number of single-use plastics utilised in its day-to-day operations. While there are bound to be other places where work can be done, the fact McDonald's uses 1.8 million straws everyday means ditching plastic will be a big step to reducing its environmental impact.
The big switch will begin in September, with McDonald's hoping plastic will be entirely phased out next year. Presumably the big timeline is to let restaurants use up their existing supply of straws, rather than throwing them all in the bin where they'll inevitably end up inside Flipper's blowhole. The only bad news is that this isn't a global initiative, and only affects the UK. That said it is doing more plastic-free trials in the US, France, and Norway.
The paper straws themselves are set to be supplied by North Irish company Huhtamaki and Transcend Packaging in Wales. Both companies have promised they'll use sustainable sources, so they won't be cutting down any sections of the Amazon rainforest and leaving it barren. Since paper straws often use products like beeswax to stop them melting, it might end up being good business for the UK's beekeepers and (thus) the bees. [BBC News]