Belgian restaurants are also testing straw alternatives, with more trials planned for select restaurants in the U.S., France, Sweden, Malaysia, Norway and Australia later this year, McDonald's said.
Customers ordering soft drinks at over 1,300 McDonald's restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland will not be getting a plastic straw starting in September. Many rely on soda fountains which fill plastic cups with lids made for straws. The company reportedly uses about 1.8 million straws a day in the United Kingdom, and it has committed to having 100 percent of its packaging come from "renewable, recycled, or certified" sources by 2025.
McDonald's has some 37,000 locations in over 100 countries.
McDonald's is taking a step toward eliminating plastic straws at its restaurants.
"McDonald's has made a significant investment in United Kingdom manufacturing to produce an alternative to plastic, showing British businesses are taking a global lead", he said in a statement.
The movement to eliminate plastic straws is gaining momentum in the USA, as well. Alaska Airlines is getting rid of plastic drink stirrers starting next month.
Friday forecast: Hot weather continues through Father's Day
The average monthly high temperature, at 68.4 degrees halfway through June, is already 1.4 degrees above normal for the month. That means children, seniors and people with respiratory issues could have trouble and should limit their exertion outside.
The organizations' moves aren't just an attempt to gain positive PR and answer consumer calls for sustainability, either-at least, not in markets outside of the United States. British officials will launch a public consultation for a potential bill banning the sale of the single-use plastics later this year. Environmental activists estimate that millions of plastic straws are used by McDonald's customers every day and are quickly discarded.
More than 60 music festivals, including Bestival, have also committed to eradicating plastic straws from all of their sites by 2021.
Though McDonald's move was widely applauded, decisions to do away with plastic have been met with some concern-namely, providing accessibility to consumers with disabilities who requireplastic straws.
An estimated 500 million plastic straws are used every day in the US -that's more than the number of people living in this country by almost 200 million.
What do you think of the announcement, PR Daily readers?