Just weeks after McDonald’s came under fire from As You Sow for bringing back the use of foam cups in some Chicago-area stores, the fast-food chain is being targeted by another watchdog organization, this time for its use of plastic straws. A petition from SumOfUs, signed by 110,000, claims that straws given to customers are discarded after minutes of use and end up dumped into the ocean. The group urges McDonald’s to institute drink-through lids as the standard or switching to sustainable and recyclable paper straws.
McDonald’s has mostly phased out use of the polystyrene cups, which isn’t as easily as recyclable as other plastics, but the cups have appeared in use again in Chicago-area locations this summer. A spokesperson wouldn’t say if they were being used in other areas of the country, but maintained that the company is continuing to work with suppliers on sustainable packaging options that reduce its “sourcing footprint.”
One of the ways the company is seeking sustainability is by joining the newly-expanded supply chain platform of CDP – the non-profit that drives companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests – to request information from their key suppliers on how they are managing the risks linked to deforestation. The companies that joined the supply chain platform say they are combining their purchasing power to achieve deforestation-free commodity supply chains.