The Grapevine

McDonald's To Start Releasing Plastic-Free Toys In Their Happy Meals

According to a news release, it seems like world-famous fast food chain McDonald’s is joining the green movement since the franchise reportedly decided to no longer put hard plastic toys in its famous Happy Meals.

No More Plastic Toys

It also started more than a year ago, when two British schoolgirls by the name of Ella and Caitlin McEwan started a petition that calls on the popular fast food chains McDonald’s and Burger King to stop putting hard plastic toys in their kiddie meals. Originally, McDonald’s responded to the petition with a disappointing automated e-mail. However, a new report reveals that, just this week, the company finally decided to pledge on stopping the use of hard plastic toys in their Happy Meals.

"This represents the biggest reduction in plastic by McDonald's UK and Ireland to date and is the next step in its mission to reduce its environmental impact across all areas of the business," McDonald’s reported in a company statement.

As such, the company will stop the practice come 2021, where it will be replacing all of the plastic toys in the U.K. and Ireland with a book, a paper toy or a plush. Per estimates, this company decision will cut the fast food chain’s plastic use by about 3,000 metric tons on a yearly basis.

Furthermore, the company will also be taking steps starting this month in order to ease the transition. As such, the company will begin testing paper packaging for their happy meals this month. Come August, the paper will also be used as a wrapper for the book that will be included in Happy Meals. And in two months, children will now be given the choice to either get a toy or a book in their Happy Meal. At the same time, McDonald’s will also be rolling out a “toy amnesty” where designated bins can be used by children that want to recycle some of their old toys.

"Well done to McDonald's for taking action and considering the impact their products will have on those who will inherit the earth," Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said.

Happy Meals McDonald's will be offering its original books in Happy Meals instead of toys. mynameisharsha, CC BY-SA 2.0