McDonald’s is taking steps to become more environmentally friendly by making changes to its iconic McFlurry spoon and adopting various sustainable practices.
The fast-food giant has decided to phase out its iconic square McFlurry spoon, which has been in use for nearly 30 years, in an effort to reduce plastic waste and help save the environment. They plan to replace it with a smaller black spoon that uses less plastic.
The McFlurry, a popular dessert consisting of vanilla soft-serve ice cream with various toppings, relies on the spoon not just for consumption but also for mixing the ingredients. This change aims to minimize the environmental impact associated with the previous spoon design.
McDonald’s has been actively addressing environmental concerns, and this change is part of a broader strategy to reduce waste generated by its packaging and materials. They have already implemented other eco-friendly initiatives, including transitioning to paper-based straws and introducing McFlurry cups without plastic lids. Additionally, the company has introduced salad boxes and cutlery made from renewable fiber.
While the new McFlurry spoon is still made of plastic, it is smaller and therefore uses less plastic than its predecessor. However, in Europe, the company has gone a step further and completely replaced plastic cutlery with paper options.
The decision to reduce plastic usage is in response to increasing awareness of the environmental impact of single-use plastics. A 2021 report revealed that McDonald’s was a significant contributor to plastic pollution, producing over 300 million pounds of plastic in 2018. This alarming finding likely influenced the company’s decision to make a significant environmental effort to combat waste.
By the end of 2022, McDonald’s had already made substantial progress toward its goal of sourcing 100% of its primary guest packaging from renewable, recycled, or certified materials, reaching approximately 81% of this goal.
However, the company still faces challenges in its quest for sustainability. Data from July showed that McDonald’s was the second-largest plastic polluter in the UK, with The Coca-Cola Company taking the top spot. Surfers Against Sewage organized clean-up efforts involving over 4,000 volunteers, who collected trash from beaches, rivers, woodlands, and streets. Their analysis of the collected rubbish revealed that 36% of it came from just 327 brands, with The Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s ranking as the top two polluters.