McDonald’s announced on July 18 its plans to phase out plastic straws across all Australian chains by 2020. Paper straws will be trialed as a replacement while the company finds a viable alternative, according to a statement.
The paper straw trial will begin in August in two outlets, which will be part of a larger, long-term global effort to identify viable, sustainable alternatives to its single-use plastic straws.
“We know plastic straws is a topic our customers are passionate about and we will find a viable solution,” Robert Sexton, McDonald’s Australia director of supply chain said.
Environmental groups such as Clean Up Australia say Australians use about 10 million straws every day, or 3.5 billion a year, according to their website.
The move to phase out plastic straws comes after the banning of plastic bags in Woolworth and Coles supermarkets across the nation.
Although plastic straws represent a comparatively small amount of all plastic waste, they are more difficult to recycle than other plastic items, Reuters reported.
McDonald’s have also announced plans in June to transition to paper straws at its UK and Ireland restaurants, beginning in September with completion set for 2019.
The paper straws used in the trial are the same as those currently being used in the United Kingdom, a spokesperson told AAP.
Earlier this month, Starbucks Coffee Company had announced plans to eliminate plastic straws from its more than 28,000 company-operated and licensed stores by 2020 due to the environmental impact plastic straws have on oceans.