Saturday, 24 February, 2018

McDonald's Sets Goal to Switch to Environmentally Friendly Packaging by 2025

McDonald's is falling short on recycling in one massive way — here's how it's changing that fact McDonald's sets huge sustainability target
Nellie Chapman | 17 January, 2018, 01:54

Only about 10 percent of McDonald's restaurants globally now are recycling packaging.

The new sustainability efforts follow McDonald's announcement that it will ditch foam cold-beverage cups and trays.

Now only half of McDonald's packaging is made from sustainable materials and only 10 per cent of its outlets recycle, the company said.

Francesca DeBiase, McDonald's chief sustainability officer, said it was customers' number one request "to use less packaging, sourced responsibly and created to be taken care of after use". Foam drink containers make up about 2 percent of McDonald's packaging, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The initiatives expand upon McDonald's existing goal that 100% of fiber-based packaging will come from recycled or certified sources where no deforestation occurs by 2020.

Fast-food chains and supermarkets have recently come under renewed pressure to tackle wasteful packaging following increased media exposure about the environmental damage it causes.

"Working with different municipalities to put the infrastructure in place is going to be the most complex piece of work that we do", DeBiase said.

The company has worked toward several other environmental goals in the past few years.

McDonald's partnered with Environmental Defense Fund in 1990 in its first sustainable packaging drive, which reduced packaging wastage by over 300 million lbs, and the brand claims in the next decade packaging wastage was reduced by around 30%.

In 2014, McDonald's joined the World Wildlife Fund's global forest and trade network program, and set its fiber sourcing targets, including the Forest Stewardship Council's preference for packaging made from wood fiber.

"As the world's largest restaurant company, we have the opportunity - and frankly responsibility - to use our scale for good", McDonald's chief supply chain and sustainability officer told Business Insider.

There are more than 165 McDonald's restaurant in New Zealand, of which 85% are independently owned.