McDonald’s UK is to remove single-use plastics from its salads range and plastic lids from all McFlurry ice creams, in a drive to reduce plastic packaging.
All main meal and side salads will be served in 100% renewable and recyclable cardboard containers instead of single-use plastic.
Changing out the existing plastic bowl, shaker salad cups and lids will result in 102 metric tons of plastic being removed annually.
The fast-food giant is also ditching plastic lids from all McFlurry ice creams from September which it said will reduce plastic waste by 383 metric tonnes annually.
The new salad and meal containers are made from carton board which contains 50% recycled content and 50% new, which itself comes from certified sustainable sources.
The coating on the containers, designed to keep them rigid, is also 100% renewable.
In total, the new packaging across the McFlurry and salads range will reduce plastic waste by 485 metric tonnes annually, said McDonald’s.
Beth Hart, Supply Chain Director, McDonald’s UK & Ireland said: “Removing plastic lids from the McFlurry, and introducing new cardboard packaging for salads, will save nearly 500 metric tonnes of plastic a year. It’s the latest step in our sustainability journey.
“We are committed to listening to our customers and finding solutions with our suppliers that work for them, this is the latest example of that – but by no means the end. We continue to look for solutions for our cutlery and lids, for example, but this is great progress. For us, sustainability is about more than just packaging. We have to look at the whole journey – by 2030 we’re committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 36%.”
Highland Spring set to launch its eco bottle, made from 100% recycled plastic.
Following a successful 2018 trial, the Highland Spring eco bottle will launch this month will join the existing Highland Spring natural source water range, where all bottles are 100% recyclable.
The bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic, although the label and cap are not made from recycled plastic; bottle, label and cap are 100% recyclable.
The mineral water giant said its consumers had expressed a ‘significant’ desire for more eco bottles at trial stage, and this launch will be followed by more 100% recycled and recyclable plastic eco bottles later in the year.
Highland Spring Group Chief Executive, Les Montgomery, said: “We are grateful to shoppers who gave us their thoughts and feedback, throughout the trial. They asked us to make the eco bottle a permanent addition to the Highland Spring family and we are proud to say that is exactly what we have done.
“Increasing our use of recycled plastic is an absolute priority for Highland Spring and this is a hugely exciting step in our mission to provide healthy hydration choices in environmentally sustainable ways. We hope that having innovative products such as the eco bottle in supermarkets alongside 100% recyclable bottles will help shoppers understand more about plastic as a valuable resource that should not be treated as waste.”
France is planning to introduce a penalty system in 2019 that would increase the cost of consumer goods with packaging made of non-recycled plastic.
It’s part of a pledge to use only recycled plastic throughout the country by 2025, according to an environment ministry official.
Brune Poirson, secretary of state for ecological transition, said it was one of several measures planned in the lead up to the 2025 target, including a deposit-refund scheme for plastic bottles. There are also plans to cut taxes for recycling operations.
“Declaring war on plastic is not enough. We need to transform the French economy,” she told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.
Under the new plan, products with recycled plastic packaging could cost up to 10% less, while those containing non-recycled plastic up to 10% more, Poirson said.
Philip Law, director general of the BPF, said: “Our ambition is to agree upon industry-standard traffic light systems and best practice design tools that can be used by manufacturers to advise brands and retailers on the recyclability and sustainability of their products.
“As an industry, we will also continue to invest in innovation so that we can realise our vision to see 100% of plastic packaging reused, recycled or recovered.”
The BPF said that it wants all plastic packaging and single-use items re-used, recycled and/or recovered by 2030. Some leading brands and retailers have already committed to using only reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025, and the BPF is a signatory to WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact.
It added that it is consulting with members, brands and retailers and has already proposed extending and revising the current Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system. The BPF said that the current PRN system should be extended to include plastic items that are not packaging products but are products used in conjunction with food and drink consumed on-the-go, such as cutlery or straws.