Plastic straws at McDonald's may soon be a thing of the past if a pilot program the fast-food giant is trying out proves successful. The burger chain is testing a plastic beverage lid in Minneapolis and other cities as part of the company's large plan that aims to use "100% certified, recycled or renewable guest packaging materials by the end of 2025."
The lid features a pullback tab, similar to those found on thermal coffee cup lids, that prevents spilling when closed but allows customers to drink when the tab is pulled back.
I'm not opposed to a strawless lid, but the one McDonalds is testing is absolutely horrible. There's no way to drink out of it without the drink running down the side or all over you. Absolutely horrendous. https://t.co/psN5V978ZJ— Travis Wilson (@travisWSN) January 27, 2023
“These lids help optimize our packaging and eliminate the use of small plastics, just one example of the many solutions we’re reviewing as part of our ongoing global commitment to reduce waste across restaurants and advance recycling,” McDonald's said in a statement.
The Chicago-based company has made some steps toward a greener direction in recent years, including swapping out plastic toys found in Happy Meals for cardboard ones that kids can assemble themselves.
Consumers use about 500 million plastic straws each day, according to data compiled by the Be Straws Free campaign, contributing to waste and ocean pollution. The Earth's oceans contain an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic waste and another 8 million is added each year, according to Stanford University.
McDonald's isn't the first chain to try to reduce plastic waste by eliminating straws. Starbucks adopted a strawless lid for its cold beverages more than two years ago.