McDonald's Will Ditch Foam Cups And Start Using Environmentally Friendly Packaging

February 23, 2018

McDonald's has announced that it will stop using foam packaging from its worldwide supply chain by the end of 2018.

mcdonalds to stop using foam cups
Photo credit: Michael Tercha / Chicago Tribune

The world's largest fast food restaurant quietly disclosed the decision on its website, along with its plan to use recycled sources for all of its fiber-based packaging by 2020.

Fiber-based packaging currently makes up over half of all cups, wrappings, containers, and trays, according to McDonald's.

McDonald's for years has been using more environmentally friendly paper wrappings and containers but environmentalists have been criticizing them for continuing to use plastic foam cups.

Polystyrene cups, while keeping drinks colder or hotter, do not biodegrade like paper materials.

"We do appreciate what McDonald's has done," said Conrad MacKerron, the senior vice president of As You Sow, a non-profit foundation chartered to promote corporate social responsibility. "It's taken a long time, but better late than never."

McDonald's decision to stop using foam packaging will hopefully encourage other fast-food giants to do the same.

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