No more foam cups at McDonald’s
Next time you go to McDonald’s for a cup of coffee you might not get it in the foam cup you are accustomed to. Instead, you will most likely receive it in a paper cup. McDonald’s has confirmed that they will replace their foam (polystyrene) cups with new double-wall paper cups in all of their 14,000+ US locations.
A shareholder proposal was filed back in 2011 and a year later, McDonald’s was already testing the paper cups. As You Sow, a non-profit organization that promotes corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, congratulated McDonald’s for making the move. They claim this will reduce plastic pollution in the oceans and will provide more recyclable material, instead of the old foam cups.
Back in 1990, McDonald’s faced out the foam hamburger box they used due to heavy criticism regarding the impact that material had, but continued to use the foam cups for beverages. Almost 25 years later, they finally phased out the cups as well. Expect other companies, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, to follow this trend as well. While DD has announced they plan to do away with foam cups in the next few years, they have not given information about how they plan to replace them.
There was no mention as to when McDonald’s plans to phase out foam cups from their international locations. This will be a much bigger task due to local taxes, tariffs and duties placed on some paper made products. While there is less pressure in foreign markets to do away with these cups and materials use to manufacture them, this move will raise more awareness in those markets and the giant fast food chain will have to address those concerns as well.