McDonald's is replacing plastic straws with paper ones in its UK and Ireland restaurants.
McDonald's is scrapping plastic straws in one of its biggest markets — and Norway could be next
The new straws will be in operation from September.
McDonald's is currently trialling the change in outlets around the world, including Norway.
McDonald's is ditching plastic straws in all its 1,361 UK and Ireland restaurants, in what could turn out to be a playbook it repeats in the rest of the world.
More environmentally-friendly paper straws will replace plastic ones starting September.
The BBC reports that McDonald's currently uses 1.8 million straws a day in the UK alone.
"Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws," Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald's UK and Ireland, said.
"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."
McDonald's say the new straws will use paper from sustainable sources.
UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove called it a "significant contribution" to helping the environment, and said it was "a fine example to other large businesses."
The Ocean Cleanup
The ban on plastic straws comes as a result of a series of successful trials in certain outlets - and they will soon start in the US, France and Norway.
Recycling non-profit Eco-Cycle claims that the US uses 500 million plastic straws every day.
While plastic straws are technically recyclable, their small size and weight mean they are often missed by sorting machines and the sheer number of straws used every day means they make a big contribution to the millions of tons of plastic that end up in our oceans every year.
Most straws are made from plastics that take hundreds of years to decompose and instead break down into microplastics - which are extremely dangerous to the environment.
McDonald's isn't the first food corporation to buck the plastic trend in the UK; JD Wetherspoon, Burger King and Costa Coffee have all phased out plastic straws in the last year.
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