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McDonald's to replace plastic straws with paper ones in Irish restaurants

McDonald’s will begin the process of transferring to paper straws from September.

Image: Sam Boal

MCDONALD’S IS GETTING rid of plastic straws from its Irish restaurants and replacing them with paper ones.

A phased rollout of paper straws will begin from September, with completion set for 2019.

There are 92 McDonald’s in Ireland and the fast-food company says all the restaurants have already taken steps to move plastic straws behind the counter.

It says this was done to reduce plastic waste and put the decision for use in the hands of the customer.

Last month, the European Commission proposed that single-use plastics such as straws, cotton buds and cutlery be banned across the European Union (EU).

The Commission said that 500,000 tonnes of plastic waste from the EU end up in the sea every year.

CEO of McDonald’s UK and Ireland Paul Pomroy 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.”

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Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment said: “This is a clear demonstration that large companies and organisations are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously and moving in the right direction by eliminating single use plastics.”

McDonald’s supply of paper straws in Ireland will be met by two suppliers Transcend Packaging and Huhtamaki. Huhtamaki will produce the straws at its plant in Northern Ireland.

It says paper used by both suppliers will come from certified sources, endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

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