The action taken by McDonald's to do away with plastic straws is a major step to control plastic pollution. The plan is to replace them with paper straws. This fast food giant is reported to be using nearly 1.8 million plastic straws every day in Britain. This is a huge volume of waste that goes to destroy the environment and leads to survival issues for marine life. According to the New Zealand Herald, this will be applicable to 1,361 restaurants that will begin the roll-out in September. The process is expected to be complete by next year. McDonald's has already identified suppliers in Wales and Belfast to undertake the supply of paper straws.

McDonald’s is serious

Plastic is a non-biodegradable substance and McDonald’s has taken a positive stand to reduce plastic pollution. Thanks to various awareness programs, people have realized that single-use plastic keeps accumulating in the surroundings and poses serious dangers to the environment. It enters the oceans and endangers marine lives. Turtles, birds, and fish fall prey to these wastes, which they mistake as edible substances. A recent study has revealed that green sea turtles could mistake some form of plastic like a plastic bag or straws as food. Once ingested, these could block their internal organs and lead to infections and even death.

According to the New Zealand Herald, McDonald's is believed to be the largest fast food chain in the world with more than 36,000 outlets and it has been urged to replace plastic straws with paper straws at all its outlets.

Many food chains in the UK have already taken similar actions in their restaurants and even Wimbledon has entered the war. It had used more than 400,000 plastic straws last year during the Tennis tournament and will scrap them this year. Incidentally, the British Government wants to impose a ban on the sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers, and cotton buds in order to reduce the large volume of waste that ends up in rivers and oceans.

Steps taken by McDonald’s will help

McDonald's' has started with the UK and Ireland and could extend the ban on plastic straws gradually to outlets in other countries. It is serious about reducing plastic pollution and will undertake trials in the US, France, and Norway. In some Latin American countries and in Malaysia, straws are given only when the customer wants In the BBC documentary "Blue Planet," David Attenborough, the veteran broadcaster, has revealed the dangers to the environment from such acts.

He has also highlighted the ill effects of plastic on marine animals.

The BBC adds that organizers of independent festivals like Boardmasters and Bestival have banned plastic straws. This is a part of a pledge they have taken to rid their locations of single-use plastic by 2021. Bans of this nature must be introduced at all events where people gather in large number,s because those who come will invariably consume cold drinks and leave the grounds littered with straws plates, spoons, and other throwaways.