McDonald's To Make Happy Meal Toys a Little More Sustainable By 2025

by Rudy Sanchez on 09/21/2021 | 2 Minute Read

Burger giant McDonald’s has climbed to the top of the corporate summit in part thanks to single-use plastic

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But of all the plastic items the clown prince of fast food dishes up daily, none are perhaps more iconic to the brand than the cheap little trinkets accompanying every Happy Meal. Coveted by children and adult collectors alike, Happy Meal toys have also inspired Mickey D’s competitors to follow suit, with most near every fast-food chain doling the chunks of plastic that far outlive their allure as plastic pollution. Today, McDonald’s has announced ambitious goals aimed at making Happy Meals more sustainable.

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By the end of 2025, McDonald’s aims to reduce its use of petroleum-based plastic for Happy Meal toys by 90 percent, the equivalent of the entire city of Washington, DC giving up plastic for a year. The firm won’t be eliminating all plastic but will use a mix of renewable, recycled, and bioplastic materials, in addition to sustainably sourced fiber.

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This announcement comes after several years of using less virgin fossil-fuel plastic for McDonald’s Happy Meal toys in markets such as the UK, Ireland, and France. Such efforts have already yielded a 30% reduction in the use of dino-juice-based plastic since 2018.

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