McDonald’s Recycling-Related Pledges

Connector Winter 2018

The world’s largest restaurant operator will increase recycling access at its food outlets and make packaging changes to lessen environmental impacts.

On Jan. 16, 2018, McDonald’s announced a goal of providing front-of-house recycling service at all its restaurants by 2025. More than 37,000 McDonald’s locations are operating in 100-plus countries, and the vast majority – more than 90 per cent – are independently owned.

About 10 per cent of them are currently recycling packaging, according to the company.

McDonald’s has stated that it understands that recycling infrastructure, regulations and consumer behaviors vary city to city and country to country around the world, but it plans to be part of the solution and help influence powerful change.

The publicly traded global fast food giant also announced a 2025 goal of ensuring all of its packaging comes from “renewable, recycled, or certified sources with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council certification.” The company is currently at about the 50 per cent mark.

“To reach these goals, McDonald’s will work with leading industry experts, local governments and environmental associations, to improve packaging and recycling practices,” according to the release. “Together they will work to drive smarter packaging designs, implement new recycling programs, establish new measurement programs and educate restaurant crew and customers.”

Brand owners Danone and The Coca-Cola Co. also recently made recycling-related pledges. They set goals for ensuring recyclability of their packaging and using more recycled content.

The new McDonald’s pledges come shortly after the company agreed to eliminate its use of EPS packaging by the end of this year.

Source: Resource Recycling