When a fast food joint jumps on the plastic-free bandwagon, we know we are getting somewhere in the movement to reduce plastics. McDonalds has launched the “Better McDonald’s Store” that opened in the Mall of Berlin for a brief stint in June 2019.
Edible condiment cups? Yes, please! Burgers packaging made of actual grass? Sounds biodegradable! Wooden utensils and paper straws? Tastes earthy!
And. . .
It was a success! With the exception of a few glitches in the eco-friendly fast food experiment, people who tried the “Better McDonald’s Store” really loved the new environmentally-friendly wrapping.
Why Do You Care?
According to the United Nations report State of Plastics, plastic production expands from 396 million tons in 2018 to 550 million tons in 2025 and 681 million tons by 2030. That is very bad for our earth.
There are three common plastic pollution items that originate from Fast Food operations: plastic straws, plastic bags, and expanded polystyrene foam cups and containers. We have alternative materials that could replace these items and they just aren’t being utilized by fast food chains. Out of all the fast food chains surveyed, only a tiny handful had initiatives to band plastic straws and plastic bags in the future.
Paper straws were a disappointed because they became soggy, which is no surprise to anyone. The wooden cutlery was a complete flop because customers thought it tasted too “woody”. Go figure!
Did You Know?
Rubio’s, a Mexican fast food restaurant chain headquartered right here in San Diego operates with energy-efficient lighting and uses recyclable material by serving food on reusable plates. Rubio’s says it has diverted 350,000 pounds of paper waster away from landfills each year. Thank you for being a pioneer, Rubio’s!
What Can You Do?
Go to a very cool site called Plastic Pollution Coalition where they make it their mission to eradicate plastic straws. Sign the petition to help and view their movie Straws. They talk a lot about how restaurants can reduce their plastic use.
A simple thing you can do in everyday life is to bring your own reusable straw and utensils so you never have to use the plastic ones at fast food chains. I have been carrying around the collapsible straw from Ocean Junkies’ Eco Store and it is amazing. I love it so much and I must admit people are quite impressed when I whip it out of my purse like an environmental diva.