As a result, the plastic toys will disappear from Happy Meals by 2021. In a press release, McDonald’s says this will happen initially in the UK.
“We care passionately about the environment and are committed to reducing plastic across our business including within our Happy Meal,” said Gareth Helm, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of McDonald’s UK and Ireland.
“Families have high expectations of us and we’re working as hard as we can to give them the confidence that their Happy Meal is as sustainable as possible. Getting that right is a big responsibility, but we believe the changes we’re making today have the potential to make a big difference.”
The company calculates that the move will reduce its use of plastic by 3000 metric tons. It’s also going to trial paper packaging for Happy Meals toys for the future. This will also remove another 200 tones of plastic. Books will become a more popular choice for Happy Meals, too.
Later this year McDonald’s will also launch a campaign in which customers can return any unwanted plastic toys to the restaurants. The company will recycle these toys and use the materials for play equipment for Ronald McDonald House Charities.