McDonald's new paper straws are 'not recyclable'


McDonald's has been accused of scamming the United Kingdom and Ireland with its environmentally friendly new paper straws, as it's emerged that the controversial new straws, which were introduced into restaurants last spring, can't be recycled and staff have been told to put them directly into the bins.

According to, historically straws have been made from paper but more recently, polypropylene plastic is more common.

However, as revealed in an internal memo circulated by the Sun, McDonald's new paper straws are not actually recyclable.

However, while the materials used in the straws are recyclable, their current thickness has made it hard for them to be processed by McDonald's waste solution providers, a spokesperson for the company explained. "Whilst the materials the straws are made from are recyclable they can not now be processed by waste solution providers and local authorities unless collected separately".

Chief among them is USA fast food chain McDonald's, which has rolled out paper straws in several countries, notably all its United Kingdom stores.

There are a number of consumer items that are widely assumed to be recyclable but aren't, including takeaway coffee cups, diapers, styrofoam, tissues, plastic wraps, gift wrap, chip packets, greasy takeaway boxes, and food containers that haven't been thoroughly rinsed.

When McDonald's first introduced paper straws last June, it got a pat on the back for being environmentally vigil and responsible.

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The fast food chain uses 1.8 million straws a day in the UK.

McDonald's also added that "This waste from our restaurants does not go to a landfill, but is used to generate energy".

However prospects have been crucial of the new straw, saying they dissolve earlier than a drink can be completed, and change into "mushy" when ingesting a milkshake.

Friends of the Earth's Julian Kirby called on McDonald's to axe all straws. "People will be left wondering whether this was just greenwash or a monumental cock-up".

Stuart Foster, from recycling charity RECOUP, criticised McDonald's and said they'd been caught out trying to placate environmental campaigners. We should be thinking about how to avoid waste creation.

"We are working with our waste solution providers to find a solution". An online petition calling for a return to plastic straws has more than 51,000 signatures.