McDonald’s to scrap plastic in UK ‘Happy Meal’ toys

The restaurant says the move will represent the company's 'biggest reduction in plastic'.

McDonald’s pledged on Tuesday to end the use of plastic found in toys served with children’s “Happy Meals” in the UK and Ireland by the beginning of 2021.

The plastic will be replaced with a “soft toy, sustainable paper-based gifts or books”, said the US fast-food giant.

“This represents the biggest reduction in plastic by McDonald’s UK and Ireland to date and is the next step in its mission to reduce its environmental impact across all areas of the business,” said a McDonald’s statement.

“The move will eliminate over 3,000 metric tons of non-sustainable plastic.”

The restaurant added that the move, which is so far limited to the UK and Ireland only, will represent the company’s “biggest reduction in plastic”.

According to the company’s own figures, McDonald’s serves about four million customers in the UK and Ireland every day in more than 1,350 restaurants.

“Families have high expectations of us and we’re working as hard as we can to give them the confidence that their Happy Meal is as sustainable as possible,” said Gareth Helm, the senior vice president in the UK and Ireland.

Previously, McDonald’s has already committed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 36% by the end of the decade and to use recycled or renewable materials for all its packaging by 2025.

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