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New generation of eco-friendly packaging to be tried by McDonald’s

Two “green” stores slated for Canada will feature wood-fiber cup lids that need no straw, along with wooden utensils.
Photograph: Shutterstock

With governments restricting restaurants’ use of traditional food packaging and disposables, McDonald’s Canadian operation said it will open two “green concept stores” that feature a batch of alternatives, including wooden cutlery. 

The units will also use fully recyclable cold drink cups, a new wood-fiber cup lid that eliminates the need for a straw, wooden coffee stirrers and paper straws, McDonald’s Canada said. 

The chain’s contributions to landfills will also be reduced by a switch to napkins that are 20% smaller, the adoption of a coffee cup made with one fewer layer of paper, a replacement of the cardboard sleeve used for McWraps with a paper wrapper, and the elimination of the foam component of breakfast containers. 

In addition, a “How 2 Recycle” label will be affixed to Happy Meals sold by the stores. 

“They are an example of how we're able to use our scale for good and keep raising the bar on what it means to be a responsible company committed to people and the planet,"  McDonald’s Canada CEO John Betts said in a statement. 

The stores will be located in Vancouver, British Columbia, and London, Ontario. 

The announcement of the green stores, a first for McDonald’s in Canada, follows a June 11 pledge by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to eliminate plastic single-use food containers and utensils by 2021. He also vowed to require a cleanup of plastic litter by restaurants and other sources. 

South of the border, a number of U.S. jurisdictions are also outlawing containers that have been targeted as environmental detriments. Maine passed a law in May that bans polystyrene containers by 2021. New York City and other locales have similarly banned packaging made with the petroleum derivative, and California requires full-service restaurants to forgo providing a plastic straw with beverages. 

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