McDonald’s have confirmed the memo’s claims that paper straws cannot yet be recycled, and staff are ordered to throw them into the general waste bins at restaurants.
Ironically, the plastic straws that they replaced were ‘100 percent recyclable’.
The leaked internal memo read: “Paper straws are not yet recyclable and should be disposed of in general waste until further notice.”
A leaked memo has revealed McDonald’s paper straws cannot currently be recycled. Credit: PA
McDonald’s recently decided to end the use of plastic straws in their 1,361 restaurants across the UK and Ireland under increasing pressure to make the shift towards a more sustainable choice.
However, now it has been revealed the straws currently cannot be recycled, their attempt at adopting a more ‘eco-friendly’ culture has been called into question.
The paper straws are also ridiculously unpopular among customers. Some complain they dissolve in fizzy drinks, while others say they make milkshakes difficult to drink.
The memo revealed paper straws are thrown in the general waste. Credit: PA
Now, on top of that, it turns out the straws are being hurled in the bin with everything else.
The fast food giant recently admitted their plastic straws were 100 percent recyclable, but said that they made the decision to switch because ‘more can be done’.
Stuart Foster, from recycling charity RECOUP, criticised McDonald’s and said they’d been caught out trying to placate environmental campaigners.
He told The Sun: “Everyone is switched on [to] environmental discussions, but the big firms need time to understand what they’re doing.”
Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat MP and former Climate Secretary, said: “It really can’t be that difficult to replace plastic straws. People will be left wondering whether this was just greenwash or a monumental cock-up.”
McDonald’s said putting paper straws in the general waste is a temporary measure. Credit: PA
A statement from McDonald’s said: “We strengthened our paper straws so, while the materials are recyclable, their thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers.
“We’re working with them to find a solution, so putting paper straws in general waste is therefore temporary.”
However, there are also calls for McDonald’s to ditch straws completely. Some campaigners say that paper and plastic straws should be abandoned and people should just use their lips. However, there are disabled people who rely on the use of straws to drink and consume fluids.