McDonald’s tells customers to bin their paper straws as they cannot be recycled

McDonald’s is advising customers to bin their paper straws after finding they are not recyclable.

The fast food giant said the advice is a temporary measure as it works to find a waste processing solution.

Last year the company got rid of plastic straws in favour of paper ones across all of its UK and Ireland restaurants, but it struggled with criticism from customers who said the straws turned to mush in their drinks.

The new straws have also been found to be too thick to be recycled and so must be binned or burned, according to an internal memo seen by The Sun.

“We are working with (waste solution providers) to find a solution, and so the advice to put paper straws in general waste is therefore temporary,” the company said.

“This waste from our restaurants does not go to landfill but is used to generate energy.”

A spokesperson for McDonald’s said the company uses 1.8m straws a day and said the move to paper was a “significant step in helping reduce single-plastic use”.

The fast food chain said it was using two suppliers based in Wales and Belfast respectively to produce its paper straws.

Companies have been facing pressure to reduce their single-use plastic products and packaging.

Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign has been raising awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans which can harm wildlife and spoil natural resources.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s said: “We are working hard to boost training and education in our restaurants to increase our recycling rates, and also encourage customers to recycle.”

“Over the past few years, the number of items we recycle has increased in line with our volume growth. In particular we have seen an increase in cups recycled with 40m recycled last year.

“However we recognise this is something we need to continue to focus on.”

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