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McDonald's New Zealand moves to reduce plastic straw use

McDonald’s New Zealand has today announced a move intended to reduce the number of single-use plastic straws used in its 167 restaurants around the country, along with the trial of fibre-based straws.

From 17 October 2018, all McDonald’s New Zealand restaurants will transition to straws on request only and in an effort to explore viable sustainable alternatives, a trial of fibre-based straws will begin in several markets before the end of 2018.

The reduction in use of plastic straws supports McDonald’s global ‘Scale For Good’ commitment for 100% of guest packaging to come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025, and to recycle guest packaging in 100% of McDonald’s restaurants globally. While recycling infrastructure, regulations and consumer behaviors vary, McDonald’s plans to be part of the solution and help influence powerful change.

“With our scale, McDonald’s has a responsibility to look after the environment, and although the straw itself is just one type of packaging we need to consider, it’s a great start and something our customers told us they wanted to support,” says David Howse, McDonald’s New Zealand Managing Director.

In addition to the change to straws on request, three McDonald’s restaurants, Orewa, Havelock North and Queenstown, will be trialling a new fibre-based straw by the end of the year. The trial will monitor the performance of the straws and gather customer feedback.

McDonald’s Orewa franchisees Ken and Cherie Harlock are looking forward to being the first to make the change. “Our customers want to reduce plastic waste and we’re proud to be one of the first restaurants in New Zealand to trial the fibre-based straws. We hope our customers will react positively to this change and support our efforts to protect the environment.”

In February, a trial to reduce plastic straw use was well received and supported by customers of McDonald’s Taupo, resulting in a 10% reduction in straw usage each month. Tests of straw alternatives are also being rolled out in other countries across Europe and the U.S.

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