Looks like McDonald's made a McMistake. According to the latest report by CNBC, it turns out the new paper straws the fast-food chain has been using in place of their plastic straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland aren't as environmentally friendly as we thought. The new straws were rolled out across 1,361 McDonald's restaurants across the pond as a way to reduce the use of plastic pollution. However, it seems that isn't the case.
The Sun was the first publication to drop the story, sharing that an internal memo stated at the "Paper straws are not yet recyclable and should be disposed of in general waste until further notice." A spokesman for the fast-food giant told the Press Association news agency that the fault falls on the waste solution providers. "While the materials are recyclable, their current thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers, who also help us recycle our paper cups."
Technically McDonald's new paper straws are recyclable, but the fault lies on the waste solution provider. Why didn't they figure that out before the roll-out of these new straws? Some are pointing the blame at UK's then-Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who was accused by activists as "greenwashing" small items to mask the larger environmental problems at hand.
The new straws haven't been short of complaints. Some say that the paper straws make it hard to drink milkshakes and dissolve in soda. McDonald's customers have even resorted to buying the old single-use plastic straws online to bring to the restaurant.
As of late, a McDonald's spokesman has shared that the company is working "to find a solution so putting paper straws in the general waste is therefore temporary". But until then, it looks like the paper ones are going straight to the garbage.