With the growing concerns of saving the environment, many companies have begun to switch from plastic straws to more eco-friendly options. Starbucks plan to get rid of their plastic straws for strawless cups and McDonald’s even plan on switching over to paper straws. However, the fast-food chain revealed that their non-plastic option may not be too helpful.
Rolled out to help “protect the environment,” McDonald’s revealed its paper straws can’t be recycled — unlike the plastic versions they replaced. The straws were introduced to all 1,361 McDonald’s restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland after a trial last year.
“While the materials are recyclable, their current thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers, who also help us recycle our paper cups,” a McDonald’s spokesman told the UK’s Press Association news agency.
The issue was first revealed by The Sun newspaper, which published an internal McDonald’s (MCD) memo saying that the company’s paper straws “are not yet recyclable and should be disposed of in general waste until further notice.”
“The government’s ambitious plans, combined with strong customer opinion, has helped to accelerate the move away from plastic and I’m proud that we’ve been able to play our part in helping to achieve this societal change,” Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said in a press release at the time.
Though, the hamburger company is hoping to help the environment some customers aren’t big fans of the change. Numerous social media users complained that they became soggy in drinks, and a petition calling on the firm to bring back their old straws has been signed more than 50,000 times.