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McDonalds Just Made a Huge Pledge to Improve Its Recycling Game

Nothing less than transformative.

SCIENCE AF STAFF
18 JAN 2018
 

Manufacturing and transporting packages for over 37,000 restaurants is bound to take its toll on the environment. And that's why today, McDonalds made a new commitment to improve its recycling game.

 

The fast food giant has pledged to switch 100 percent of its guest packaging to renewable, recycled and certified sources by 2025, with the ultimate goal of recycling 100 percent of its guest packaging.

"We understand that recycling infrastructure, regulations and consumer behaviors vary city to city and country to country, but we plan to be part of the solution and help influence powerful change," the company wrote.

Ever since the company established a partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), nearly three decades ago, the company has been trying to improve its recycling.

By phasing out polystyrene and cutting solid waste, the company has eliminated more than 300 billion pounds of packaging, recycled 1 million tons of corrugated boxes and reduced waste by 30 percent in just a decade.

The efforts are paying off.

In 2015, the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) graded 16 fast food chains on its packaging. McDonalds was one of the lucky two to receive a passing grade.

Jonathan Kaplan, director of food and Agriculture at the NRDC said if McDonalds follows through with its commitment, it could make a huge impact on the environment.

 

"If McDonalds delivers, the new measures could eliminate lots of fossil fuel-derived plastic, boost demand for sustainably certified paper sources, and create additional market demand for recycled-content materials," Kaplan wrote in a press release.

"By how much? All I know is that you have to multiply something by 69 million to get the answer."

Because that is how many people McDonalds serves every day.

The craziest part? McDonalds says it is already 64 percent of the way to meeting its new goals.

"Together with employees, franchisees, and suppliers, the Company is committing to use our scale for good to make changes our customers want and that will have a meaningful impact in the communities we serve," the company wrote.

"Our vision is nothing less than transformative."