UK – American multinational fast food chain and real estate company, McDonald’s is set to replace all plastic cutlery with paper-based alternatives in England and Wales.

The fast-food giant said it hopes the move will eliminate 858 metric tonnes of plastic each year.

The new cutlery is made from renewable, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified pressed-paper and is fully recyclable and compostable, McDonald’s said.

It comes after the chain already switched to paper-based alternatives across restaurants in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

McDonald’s said it will now gradually roll out the new cutlery across England and Wales as it phases out the plastic items.

The move, which will include a renewable and compostable McFlurry spoon, is part of the US-based firm’s sustainability strategy – Plan for Change.

This includes a goal to achieve net zero emissions across its UK and Ireland businesses by 2040.

McDonald’s also set a target to ensure all its packaging is made from renewable, recycled or certified sources and is fully recyclable and compostable by 2024.

It has already introduced paper-based straws, new McFlurry cups without plastic lids, and developed salad boxes made from cards.

Nina Prichard, head of sustainable and ethical sourcing at McDonald’s, said: “As a business, we’re committed to taking action on packaging and waste and increasing our use of sustainable materials.

“We’re pleased to announce another step forward in eliminating single-use plastics and it’s great to be switching our famous McFlurry spoons to this new paper-based material.”

Meanwhile, in May, British consumer co-operative Co-op replaced all single-use plastic cutlery for the products with sustainable alternatives such as wooden ‘sporks,’ which are designed to be used as both spoons and forks.

The company said it expected to eliminate around 274 tonnes of unnecessary plastic, cardboard and film from its stores through the move.

Co-op’s 2022 Summer range featured several sushi products, including the Salmon and Prawn pack, the Vegan taster pack, the Premium Fish Selection and the Chicken and Duck Pack.

Other products added to the range included the Thai Bang Bang Noodle Salad, the Chicken Katsu Bento Box, the Halloumi Flatbread, the Spinach and Pine Nut Falafel Wrap and the Coronation Chicken Sub Roll.

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