McDonald's to ban plastic straws from EVERY restaurant across Sheffield

The job cuts at McDonald’s are part of a wider restructuring as it tries to boost its US business

McDonald's announced Friday that it will test alternatives to plastic straws in some USA restaurants later this year.

McDonald's, which uses 1.8m straws a day in the United Kingdom, joins a growing number of chefs and hospitality groups cutting down on plastic use.

The fast food giants have been testing paper straws since April at a selected number of outlets, and the move comes as companies come under increasing demand to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they use on a daily basis.

It's bad enough that plastic tossed into landfills never degrades, but billions of tons of plastic have ended up in the world's oceans over the years.

Figures from the US-based Ocean Conservancy's TIDES data system show that plastic straws are the 11th most common item of rubbish found during oceanic clean-ups, making up about 3% of recovered waste.

Malibu, Calif., and a few other cities, have already banned the use of plastic straws at restaurants.

Burger King, Wagamama and JD Wetherspoon have all ditched plastic straws in the previous year. "You can think of straws made of paper or no straw at all", a spokesperson said to the broadcaster.

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A straw, which is used for only 20 minutes on average, can take more than 200 years to break down into smaller pieces and often does not fully disintegrate. In addition to straws, a meal at a fast food restaurant might be served on a plastic plate, with a plastic top, with plastic utensils, wrapped in plastic.

Plastic straws enable many disabled people to drink independently, according to Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

The process will start in September, and will be finished with the changes to the 1,361 McDonald's by next year.

The straws will use paper from certified sustainable sources, the company said.

It argued that straws can be recycled together with cartons if they are pushed back into the box.

McDonald's said in a statement: "Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws".

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