Waste crackdown: McDonald’s commits to renewable, recyclable packaging by 2025

By Oscar Rousseau contact

- Last updated on GMT

Only 10% of McDonald's restaurants globally recycle customer packaging, the company estimate
Only 10% of McDonald's restaurants globally recycle customer packaging, the company estimate

Related tags: Recycling

All packaging used by fast food giant McDonald’s will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025.

To cut global waste and its impact on the planet, all of McDonald’s guest packaging will be renewable, recyclable or derived from a certified source, such as the Forest Stewardship Council certificate, in the next seven years.

The food giant also plans to recycle packaging in all of the franchise’s more than 37,000 stores across 100 countries. Currently, only half of McDonald’s customer packaging comes from renewable, recycled or certified sources. And only one in 10 of its stores are recycling customer packaging.

McDonald’s to use its position to drive waste crackdown

As the world’s largest restaurant company, we have a responsibility to use our scale for good to make changes that will have a meaningful impact across the globe,​” said Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer.

Our customers have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue they would like us to address. Our ambition is to make changes our customers want and to use less packaging, sourced responsibly and designed to be taken care of after use, working at and beyond our restaurants to increase recycling and help create cleaner communities.​”

McDonald’s​ said it would work with experts, governments and environmental associations to drastically upgrade its packaging and recycling strategies. The company said it planned to work on smarter packaging designs, kick-start new recycling programmes, devise new measurement requirements and educate staff and customers on the importance of recycling.

On the announcement, Sheila Bonini, senior vice-president of private sector engagement at the World Wildlife Fund (WFF), said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates McDonald’s strong leadership in developing packaging and recycling solutions at a scale that can extend the life of our natural resources and push its industry toward more sustainable practices.​”

Smarter waste management begins with improved sourcing, increased value chain collaboration and better communication with customers.​”

A crackdown on packaging waste comes after McDonald's set out a strategy to reduce the use of antibiotics​ on farms that supplier the retailer with meat.

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