Consumer product

McDonald’s Continues its Use of Plastic Straws

According to the Associated Press, McDonald’s shareholders rejected a proposal to phase out its use of plastic straws.

The idea was originated from activist group SumOfUs. The proposal comments the “business risks” of McDonald’s keeping its use of plastic straws, according to a SEC filing. In addition, it said McDonald’s “has an opportunity to improve its brand by demonstrating leadership in elimination of plastic straws.”

According to BBC, it won less than 8 percent of the company’s vote.

The board of McDonald’s remarked the idea unnecessary and redundant, “The requested report is unnecessary, redundant to our current practices and initiatives, and has the potential for a diversion of resources with no corresponding benefit to the company, our customers, and our shareholders.”

Before the vote, McDonald’s released a statement saying, “We continue to work to find a more sustainable solution for plastic straws globally.”

“In the meantime, we have adopted compostable straws in certain markets to meet regulations while we work with packaging experts to develop a planet-friendly, cost-effective answer for all McDonald’s restaurants,” the statement added.

Not Surprised


SumOfUs’ petition to phase out the company’s use of plastic straws collected nearly 500,000 signatures.

“McDonald’s uses millions of plastic straws every single day,” the petition reads. “Used for just a few seconds, then thrown away, many end up polluting our oceans.”

In statement, Sondhya Gupta, senior campaigner at SumOfUs, said, “Today’s shareholder vote was not surprising. Since we filed the shareholder proposal and began our petition, McDonald’s has taken some important steps to get in front of this issue – including phasing out plastic straws in the UK. We hope McDonald’s will continue to take this issue seriously and we look forward to them reporting back on a timeline for instituting these important reforms.”

In March, the fast food chain pledged to work on eliminating the use of plastic straws. Some methods are to require their customers to ask for straws if needed, and to phase biodegradable straws. The company, as a whole, also promised to make its packaging more sustainable in the year 2025.

US cities such as Seattle, Miami Beach, and Malibu have already imposed to ban plastic straws.

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