McDonald’s has announced that it is making a huge change to its McFlurry offering. The fast food chain is removing plastic spoons from its iconic Mcflurry and replacing them with paper-based spoons to reduce plastic in the supply chain.
The change comes less than a month after they removed Chicken Legend from the menu. The new spoons will be made from fully recyclable FSC-certified pressed paper. The bold decision is expected to eliminate up to 858 tonnes of plastic each year.
McDonald’s said: “That’s right, we’re phasing out plastic cutlery and replacing it with a new sustainable, paper-based material in all our UK and Ireland restaurants. We’re doing this to remove over 850 tonnes of plastic from our supply chain a year, as part of our plan for change.”
The chain has already implemented the alternative cutlery across restaurants in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. It will now start rolling out the initiative in England and Wales.
Head of Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing at McDonald’s, Nina Prichard said: “As a company we are committed to taking action on packaging and waste and increasing our use of sustainable materials. We are delighted to announce another step forward in eliminating single-use plastics and it’s great to replace our famous McFlurry spoons with this new paper-based material.”
The global chain started its sustainability work back in 2019 when it began phasing out plastic straws in the UK. Before the campaign, McDonald’s used 1.8 million plastic straws a day in its 1,361 UK restaurants.
However, the move was quickly met with criticism, with customers complaining that their new paper straws were getting wet before the first sip. Many customers fear the same will be true with the new paper-based spoons.
The iconic plastic spoon, designed with a hollow end to attach to a machine used to mix up the goodness, will be sorely missed by customers across the UK. Angry tweets have already started piling up as McDonald’s shared the news on social media.
One user responded: “I could sob maccies has replaced the mcflurry spoon with a PAPER SPOON. when will it end. sorry turtles but I disagree with this one.” Another said: “I totally support getting rid of plastic but I had a McFlurry with the new paper spoon last week and the spoon folded in half after a few bites so it would be nice if it was stronger.”
“If they’re anything like paper straws they’ll be c**p. Good job we eat with our fingers in your restaurants,” said a third. While another expressed support for the idea tweeting: “No difference really. Except it’s not as flexible as a plastic spoon. If you don’t like it. Bring your own spoon.”
The American conglomerate is set to meet its target of net zero emissions in its UK and Ireland operations by 2040. At the same time, it is taking steps to ensure that all its packaging is recyclable, compostable and renewable by the same date.