The fast food giant’s moves comes after schoolchildren Ella and Caitlin Wood ed a petition to ban plastic toys being given away with kids’ Happy Meals
McDonald’s has vowed to drastically cut the use of plastic in the more than 1 billion children’s toys it sells globally each year by the end of 2025.
The change involves swapping plastic figurines for one made with a dozen cardboard pieces that kids can put together themselves.
More toys will also be made from recycled or plant-based plastics, McDonald’s said.
The changes will allow the firm to cut its use of virgin fossil fuel-based plastic for Happy Meals by 90% compared with 2018.
Burger King announced in 2019 that it would stop giving out free plastic toys and that customers could return existing ones to be melted down and used as trays and other items.
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The move came after schoolchildren Ella and Caitlin Wood, then 9 and 7-years-old, led a petition to ban plastic toys being given away with kids meals.
After learning at school how rubbish is endangering sea life, the eco-aware pair from Southampton set up an online petition for fast-food giants to stop putting plastic toys in children’s meal boxes.
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Documentary War on Plastic on BBC One – hosted by Anita Rani – also revealed how millions of toys – many unopened from fast food meals- are adding to our mountain of plastic waste.
Amy Murray, McDonald’s vice president of global marketing, said: “As you can imagine, our entire supply chain has to change with this.
“It has been a massive undertaking, and we’re really just changing the way we do our Happy Meals.”
McDonald’s chief sustainability officer Jenny McColloch said the goal is to make sure they are safe and sturdy enough for children.
The fast-food giant is also looking for ways to recycle the old plastic Happy Meal toys within its restaurants.
Here in the U.K. and in Japan, a scheme is already underway to reuse the plastic for playgrounds and restaurant trays.
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