Supermarkets and fast food chains may be focusing their efforts on cutting down on packaging that the vast majority of their foodstuffs are wrapped in, but two kids want to refocus that energy on free plastic toys.
McDonald's and Burger King are the target of yet another petition lambasting fast food restaurants for serving plastic toys in their kids meals, but this particular example seems to have garnered media attention over the others floating around out there because two tiny children are the face of it.
Started by their mother Rachael because Change.Org stipulates that the platform is for 16 years and over, but does allow for younger users to get someone else to set up a petition for them, Ella (9) and Caitlin (7) McEwan started their petition eight months ago.
"After we learned about the environment and pollution in school we wanted to do everything we could to help," it reads. "It’s not enough to make recyclable plastic toys - big, rich companies shouldn’t be making toys out of plastic at all."
The wide-eyed innocence and lack of fiscal knowledge has bolstered the coverage of their endeavour, and currently, the petition is sitting at over 189,000 signatures.
Rather than calling for a ban on plastic toys, the children are asking for a sustainable alternative. "We like to go to eat at Burger King and McDonald’s, but children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea."
Another petition that sprang up at around the same time criticises McDonald's current plastic reduction endeavour, calling it "cost savings (reducing plastic straws and the condiments they give out) veiled in a thin green fog."
It suggests that when an adult takes their child to a fast food restaurant, they should be given "the choice of whether they want the product by briefly explaining the environmental impact of plastic waste on our planet at the point of sale." Sounds like a fantastic way to ruin someone's visit. Why don't you show the children how animals are slaughtered in minute detail before you allow them to order a burger while you're at it.
An even older petition, started around a year ago, makes the same complaint as the McEwan's but has barely 500 signatures.
Since the petition has been picked up by the media, Burger King has said that it's trialling the removal of toys in kids meals, while it aims to have a "more sustainable solution in place by 2020."
McDonald's highlighted its current efforts to cut down on plastic, and added that, "the joy that many families get from our Happy Meal toys isn’t something that we can ignore and any changes to that have to be carefully thought about.” [Huffington Post]