McDonald's can't seem to do anything right when it comes to replacing its plastic straws with paper ones.
We can all do as much as we can to save the planet via recycling, alternate travel methods, and eating less meat, but ultimately, we need the world's biggest companies to do their part. If corporations aren't pulling their weight, then us separating our garbage out into different bags and boxes every week is going to have less of an effect than a drop in the ocean.
Thankfully, some corporations are attempting to pull their weight. McDonald's, for example. The fast-food chain made the switch from plastic straws to paper ones in all of its UK restaurants recently. Some activists argue that banning something as minor as plastic straws won't make enough difference. However, when you find out that McDonald's customers in the UK use 1.8 million straws per day, you might change your tune.
Despite it sounding as if McDonald's has done a significant bit of good with this change, the switch has received criticism. It turns out that the new paper straws aren't as easy to recycle as McDonald's first thought, reports BBC. In light of restaurants asking customers to put their used plastic straws in with the rest of the general waste, people wanted answers.
Turns out it is actually the fault of the customers, sort of. Those who frequent McDonald's complained that the new paper straws made it difficult to drink the chain's beverages. Most notably, Maccy D's incredibly thick milkshakes. No problem, McDonald's thought, we'll just make the straws slightly thicker. Well, it turns out that those thicker paper straws can't be recycled.
A McDonald's spokesperson has assured patrons that the company is working on a solution that will hopefully please everyone. He also established that none of McDonald's waste, whether recyclable or not, goes to landfill, and is instead used to generate energy. Meanwhile, we would suggest to the 51,000 people who have signed a petition to bring back plastic straws that they take the lid off and use their mouths. Would that really be so difficult?