Alongside the plastic lids, McDonald's UK has also announced that single-use plastic will be replaced by cardboard containers for its salads

McDonald's restaurant (Credit McDonald's)

McDonald's restaurant (Credit: McDonald's)

McDonald’s UK has announced it will remove plastic lids from its McFlurry ice cream range from September this year.

The fast food giant also announced that all single-use plastic will be removed from its salads as of next week (24 June 2019) – with all main meal and side salads served in 100% renewable and recyclable cardboard containers.

It says the change will see the company reduce its plastic waste by 485 metric tonnes annually.

McDonald’s UK & Ireland’s supply chain director Beth Hart said: “I am delighted that today’s news means we will be serving our much loved and new menu items in an even more sustainable way.

McDonald's plastic lids
From September, McDonald’s UK’s McFlurry’s will no longer have a plastic lid (Credit: McDonald’s)

“Removing plastic lids from the McFlurry, and introducing new cardboard packaging for salads, will save nearly 500 metric tonnes of plastic a year.

“We are committed to listening to our customers and finding solutions with our suppliers that work for them, this is the latest example of that – but by no means the end.

“We continue to look for solutions for our cutlery and lids, for example, but this is great progress.

“For us, sustainability is about more than just packaging. We have to look at the whole journey – by 2030 we’re committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 36%.”


McDonald’s global sustainability targets

In January 2018, McDonald’s announced a target for sustainability in which 100% of all its packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025.

Alongside this, the firm has set itself a 2025 target to recycle guest packaging from all of its restaurants.

The new sustainability measures have expanded on a 2020 goal to have 100% of its fibre-based packaging coming from recycled or certified sources.

McDonald’s’ chief supply chain and sustainability officer Francesca DeBiase said at the time: “As the world’s largest restaurant company, we have a responsibility to use our scale to make changes that have a meaningful impact across the globe.

“Our customers have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue they would like us to address.

“Our ambition is to make changes our customers want and to use less packaging, sourced responsibly and designed to be taken care of after use, working at and beyond our restaurants to increase recycling and help create cleaner communities.”

In the same year, McDonald’s announced it would work alongside coffee giant Starbucks and circular economy investment firm Closed Loop Partners to create a recoverable fibre cup.

McDonald's plastic lids
McDonald’s worked alongside coffee giant Starbucks on the NextGen Challenge, set up to design a recoverable drinks cup (Credit: Wikimedia)

The trio did this by setting up an initiative called The NextGen Challenge, which was open to supply chain leaders, innovators and solutions providers to create the recoverable single use cup.

In February 2019, they announced the 12 winners, with the challenge the first stage of a three-year effort to test the winners’ designs going pilot them in an effort to get them into restaurants and cafes.