McDonalds to Replace Plastic Foam Cups with Paper for Better Recycling

McDonalds to Replace Plastic Foam Cups with Paper for Better Recycling

McDonald’s Corp. will replace its polystyrene foam hot beverage cups with paper-based cups in response to calls for higher recycled content and capability with its beverage containers.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based restaurant chain said it will switch to the paper cups at all of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants in the coming months, according to a news release from the Oakland, Calif.-based environmental advocacy group, As You Sow.

McDonald’s launched a pilot program in March 2012 replacing the foam cups with double-walled paper cups at 2,000 of their stores. The company confirmed that the pilot program was successful.

“We are pleased that the company decided to make the switch to paper cups permanent and expand it to all of its restaurants,” the organization said. “Paper cups also use significant energy and chemicals in their production, but do not persist in the environment for hundreds of years, as foam does, and are becoming more readily recyclable.”

As You Sow said McDonald’s needs to do more work to have a comprehensive packaging recycling policy. For example, Starbucks uses 10-percent recycled paper fiber in its paper hot beverage cups. It also has agreed to recycle all post-consumer paper and plastic cups discarded in company-owned stores by 2015.

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