A jar of ice cream without its plastic cover: the American fast food giant McDonald's intends to reduce the use of plastic in its European market, where legislation is increasingly restrictive.
McDonald's announced Thursday the introduction of new packaging at all of its restaurants in Europe by the end of 2020 for McFlurry, a frozen dessert whose disposable jar is currently wearing a thick plastic circle, which aims to save more 1,200 tons of plastic a year on the continent.
This measure is part of its program to minimize the use of plastic and improve the use of recyclable packaging in Europe.
The European Union is adopting increasingly restrictive legislation on single-use plastics: it will ban from 2021 a list of a dozen products, such as straws.
In France, a major market for McDonald's, the group will deploy a new lid for soft drinks made of fiber, made from “100% sustainable certified sources and recycled materials”, which does not imply the use of a Straw. McDonald's estimates that around 1,100 tonnes of plastics per year will be saved in France.
“Our goal is for all our packaging to come from renewable sources by 2025, and also to recycle (waste) in each of our 37,000 restaurants around the world” by the same deadline, AFP told AFP. in Brussels Keith Kenny, vice president of sustainable development at McDonald's.
According to the group, plastic is used in Europe in 12% of packaging. And in its eight main markets, more than 60% of restaurants have sorting facilities, 90% in the United Kingdom and 89% in Germany.
Other recent initiatives by the fast food giant include the launch in the UK of a program to recycle toys supplied with the children's menu, or a pilot program in Germany, in collaboration with Starbucks, to encourage the use of a reusable cup to take away.
“At the speed at which we're trying to get things moving, we know that maybe we'll put imperfect solutions on the market, but consumers will give us credit and we'll continue to improve products,” Keith Kenny explained. .
Large multinationals, often criticized by NGOs for the pollution caused by their activity, are trying to respond to increasing pressure from consumers for a more responsible policy.
For example, the food and cosmetics giant Unilever announced in early October its commitment to halve its new plastic packaging by 2025.
In May 2017, the NGO Zero Waste France published a critical report on McDonald's waste management, denouncing a policy “against the current of the circular economy”.