McDonald's UK Replacing All Plastic Straws With Paper Straws, Could U.S. Be Next?

McDonald's carbon footprint probably isn't pretty, but at least in the U.K., efforts are being made to go green.

We've grown accustomed to the plastic straw in pretty much all major fast food restaurants, but McDonald's in the U.K. is changing that completely, getting rid of every single plastic straw, in each of its 1,300 locations, according to CNBC.


The switch will take place in May, and plastic straws will be a thing of the past in the U.K.

Although it'd be an uncomfortable change, the paper straw could someday be adapted in U.S. McDonald's restaurants. Doing away with plastic straw seems to be the environmentally-conscious trend that's being heavily pressed lately, as several U.S. cities such as Malibu, Calif., Seattle, Wash., and Fort Meyers, Fla., have also set up bans of plastic straws. You've probably noticed the paper straws sprinkled into the occasional mom and pop coffee shop, as well.

There are organizations that are passionate about getting rid of plastic straws, as says the U.S. throws out over 500 million straws a day, and they are one of the 10 top polluters of the ocean. They even estimate that by 2050, there could be more straws in the ocean than fish.


Those who have experience using the paper straw, can attest to them being a bit of an annoyance if it takes you longer than 15 minutes to finish your drink, because the straw tends to break down and doesn't hold its firmness. There's also the adjustment of mouth-feel, we've mostly become accustomed to the plastic straw feeling, it's always a little weird sipping out of the paper.

This isn't McDonald's U.K.'s first foray into the ecco-friendly stratosphere as in 2007, it started turning its leftover cooking oil into biodiesel that fueled their vans. They also stopped using hydrogenated cooking oil that year, trying to be a little more health-conscious.

Whether you like it or not, paper straws are slowly making their way into the mainstream food scene, and it may be time to get used to it.