Brown paper bags, burger wrappers and boxes, fries sleeves, paper cups… the byproducts of eating a meal at McDonald’s can add up really fast.
Now consider what that means when there are, as the McD’s likes to boast, over 99 billion served.
In an effort to “improve its packaging and help significantly reduce waste,” the multinational fast food chain has announced a goal to make all packaging come from renewable, recycled or certified sources and to make recycling available in all restaurants by 2025.
“This expands upon McDonald’s existing goal that by 2020, 100% of fiber-based packaging will come from recycled or certified sources where no deforestation occurs,” stated the global food chain.
“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 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.”
To reach these goals, McDonald’s said it will work with leading industry experts, local governments and environmental associations, to improve packaging and recycling practices.
The chain, which once served up burgers in styrofoam clamshells, has already made leaps and bounds.
According to the company, McDonald’s first began its focus on sustainable packaging nearly 25 years ago.
It reports that “currently, 50% of McDonald’s customer packaging comes from renewable, recycled or certified sources and 64 percent of fiber-based packaging comes from certified or recycled sources.”
It also says that an estimated 10% of McDonald’s restaurants globally are recycling customer packaging.