Featured image for Two Young Girls Petition McDonald's & Burger King to Remove Plastic Happy Meal Toys

Two Young Girls Petition McDonald's & Burger King to Remove Plastic Happy Meal Toys

by Casha Doemland on 07/10/2019 | 2 Minute Read

While McDonald’s was first established in 1937 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald, it wasn’t until 1948 that the eatery began slinging out their iconic burgers and fries. Over the years, as the menu has evolved and the company has franchised big time with over 36,000 restaurants worldwide, the golden arches have reeled in individuals left and right.

That's a whole lot of burgers, which in turn means, a whole lot of impact on the environment. Between the carbon footprint of beef and the sheer volume of packaging used to wrap all the food, we're looking at a significant contributor to the demise of the planet. 

While yes, McDonald's is taking steps towards changing their ways and has made an ambitious goal to have 100% of its packaging made from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025, two young children, ages 7 and 9, are asking the fast-food giant to take their commitment to the planet one step further. 

Editorial photograph

Sisters Ella and Caitlin McEwan, who are learning about plastic pollution in school, have taken their passion for the planet to Change.org as they created a petition to have fast-food chains cease providing children with plastic toys. 

"We like to go to eat at Burger King and McDonald’s, but children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea," they wrote in the petition.

In the last eight months, they’ve received a whopping 340,000-plus signatures, and have even appeared on BBC One's program War On Plastic with Hugh & Anita where they discussed their cause further.

On War on Plastic, we learned that McDonald’s is one of the biggest distributors of toys in the world, with 1.4 billion toys in their Happy Meals, a majority of which are made of mixed plastics and aren't recyclable like the company claims they are; a large percentage of these toys end up in a landfill or get incinerated. 

Currently,  McDonald's has not announced how they'd like to tackle the issue, but a spokesperson did tell FOOD Today, "We have an active global working group exploring the production of more sustainable toy options."