McDonald’s recently announced plans to make its restaurants more environmentally friendly and sustainable by planning to eliminate all foam products from their supply chain by the end of 2018.
Foam does not biodegrade, yet has been a part of the McDonald’s product line for several decades, according to the Chicago Tribune. The company reexamined their long-term use of the harmful product after an initiative sponsored by the company shareholder, As You Sow, was called into consideration.
McDonald’s will move forward with using fiber-based containers that are more ecologically friendly, as opposed to foam, which creates toxins harmful to aquatic creatures and people drinking the toxic water, as stated in the online magazine, Recycling Today. Additionally, foam is unrecyclable, so it ends up in landfills or as trash all throughout beaches, oceans, and city streets.
While the move is a positive step in the right direction, there are concerns about the development side, such whether removing foam from the product line will make any significant environmental changes. Foam packaging is still used in many countries such as Hong Kong and the Philippines, which makes many concerned that the new change by McDonald’s is implemented simply to maintain their status quo.
Others, however, believe it will send an important message to other food companies who are still using foam and other harmful substances, to consider using other, environmentally friendly alternatives for products, including plastic straws and lids.
Supporters and activists hope that McDonald’s efforts will benefit customers and the environment, and pave the way for other large organizations to take similar actions in reducing Earth’s waste.
This story was originally covered and published on The Guilfordian.
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