Single-use plastic will also be removed from McDonald’s salads from next week – all main meal and side salads will be served in 100% renewable and recyclable cardboard containers. Changing out the existing plastic bowl, shaker salad cups and lids will result in 102 metric tons of plastic being removed annually. These containers are made from ‘carton board’ which contains 50% recycled content and 50% new, which itself comes from certified sustainable sources. The coating on the containers, designed to keep them rigid, is also 100% renewable.
In total, the new packaging across the McFlurry and salads range will reduce plastic waste by 485 metric tonnes annually. In 2018 the business announced that it would replace over 639 million plastic straws used annually by customers in the UK with paper straws. The changes are part of the business’ ongoing commitment to move to more sustainable packaging; globally McDonald’s has committed to source all packaging from renewable or recycled sources by 2025.
Beth Hart, Supply Chain Director, McDonald’s UK & Ireland said: “I am delighted that today’s news means we will be serving our much loved and new menu items in an even more sustainable way. Removing plastic lids from the McFlurry, and introducing new cardboard packaging for salads, will save nearly 500 metric tonnes of plastic a year. It’s the latest step in our sustainability journey.
“We are committed to listening to our customers and finding solutions with our suppliers that work for them, this is the latest example of that – but by no means the end. We continue to look for solutions for our cutlery and lids, for example, but this is great progress. For us, sustainability is about more than just packaging. We have to look at the whole journey – by 2030 we’re committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 36%.”
As well as changes to packaging, customers will be able to enjoy some new and improved recipes. Giving customers even more choice, McDonald’s has revamped its salads. The new Chicken Salad will be available in a crispy (265 calories) or a new and improved grilled chicken (122 calories) option. From the 26 June, a new Cajun Chicken Wrap will also be available.
Coming in at 400 calories, both the wrap and salads will feature as part of McDonald’s Meals Under offering, making it even easier for customers to make informed choices when eating out. ‘Meals Under’ allows customers to build meals featuring a main, side and drink which achieves either green or amber on the Food Standard Agency traffic light system for fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar.
Customers will also see the return of some old favourites; the Smarties McFlurry will be back permanently to the full-time offering alongside Maltesers and Oreo.