What would it be like to live in a wasteless closed-loop world? Literally no one on the planet knows, but McDonald’s is apparently experimenting with the idea. The Canadian branch of the company announced Wednesday that they’re launching two “green concept restaurants” in London, Ontario and Vancouver, BC to test new packaging and recycling systems.
Mark us down as “cautiously intrigued.”
In a press release, the company laid out several concrete packaging changes they plan to implement as part of their goal that by 2025, “100 percent of McDonald’s guest packaging will come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources.” New packaging at these flagship locations will include a fully-recyclable cold beverage cup, a wood fibre straw-less lid, paper straws and wooden cutlery and stir sticks.
The company also highlighted changes they’re currently implementing globally like smaller napkins to reduce paper waste, a McWrap paper wrapper instead of a cardboard carton and replacing styrofoam with less problematic packaging. They’re also going the way of some other multi-national companies like Unilever and Nestlé and including a “How 2 Recycle” label on their products to inform consumers on how to properly dispose of the item.
McDonald’s estimates that those moves will eliminate 1,500 tons of packaging in Canada.
This announcement comes just a week after Justin Trudeau revealed the Canadian government’s plan to ban many forms of single-use plastic by the year 2021. The PM cited terrifying facts like “less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled” and “without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.”
There have been similar bans implemented in recent months by the European Union and the United Kingdom and Vancouver announced their own city-wide ban last May.
McDonald’s new paper fibre lids and fully-recyclable cold beverage cups would be the first of their kind offered by a quick service restaurant chain in Canada, but Tim Hortons is hot on their tail. The coffee company also recently announced new initiatives to take responsibility for their environmental impact including education programs and more environmentally friendly cups and lids.
We. Are. Here. For corporate environmental responsibility!