McDonald’s has announced that all of its U.S. restaurants will switch to paper coffee cups, eliminating polystyrene or Styrofoam cups.
Polystyrene is heavily regulated in parts of California, and Mayor Bloomberg has sought to ban it from restaurants in New York City, which may have played a part in the burger giant’s decision to serve its coffee in double-walled paper cups instead.
“Moving to a paper-based cup across 14,000 restaurants translates to a significant impact,” reports Plastics News. “The reasons for this change include customers’ changing preferences and increased recyclability.”
Some paper cups are plastic-lined, and unable to be recycled, and there is no word of recycling receptacles or service being added to McDonald’s stores; still, it’s a step in the right direction notes As You Sow, the nonprofit that pushed for the change.
“McDonald’s has made a great start by phasing out foam,” said Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president for As You Sow, in a statement. “We hope they will also incorporate recycled fiber in the cups and develop on-site systems to collect and recycle food service packaging.” With thousands of restaurants in the U.S. alone, proponents are calling this a huge move.
McDonald’s stopped using polystyrene containers for its sandwiches more than 20 years ago. Cold drinks, however will still be served in plastic cups for the time being.
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