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MacDonald's New Paper Straws Cannot be Recycled

Posted 102 days ago | 05.08.19

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MacDonald's New Paper Straws Cannot be Recycled

Last year McDonald’s stopped using plastic straws although they were recyclable, replacing them with what they described as "eco-friendly" paper straws. It turns out they cannot be recycled.


McDonald's says the materials are recyclable, but their thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed.


The straws are manufactured by Transcend Packaging, based in Ebbw Vale, south Wales.


Some customers are unhappy with the new straws, saying they dissolved before a drink could be finished, with milkshakes particularly hard to drink. MacDonalds’ response was: "As a result of customer feedback, we have strengthened our paper straws, so while the materials are recyclable, their current thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers, who also help us recycle our paper cups.”


The firm said it was working to find a solution, and that current advice, which was to put paper straws in general waste was therefore temporary. The company added: "This waste from our restaurants does not go to landfill, but is used to generate energy.”


Friends of the Earth's Julian Kirby said: "For too long the debate has been stuck on recycling and how to deal with waste once it is created. We should be thinking about how to avoid waste creation.

"Lips have been a waste-free alternative to straws for millions of years."



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