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If McDonald’s keeps its promise, your Happy Meal could be green within seven years

If McDonald’s keeps its promise, your Happy Meal could be green within seven years
[Photo: Flickr user Muhammad Ashiq]

McDonald’s just announced a new commitment to sustainability, which could radically alter the amount of trash the world’s biggest restaurant chain produces.

On Tuesday, the burger giant announced that, by 2025, all packaging on customer products will come from “renewable or recycled sources,” or sources certified by environmental organizations Forest Stewardship Council  or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Since the typical McDonald’s Happy Meal involves a paper-wrapped burger, paper- wrapped fries, a paper cup, a plastic toy, paper napkins, a paper-wrapped straw, and ketchup packets all tucked in to a paper box—and all of which goes straight in the trash when the meal is over—the change could be a significant improvement for the planet’s forests.

McDonald’s also said it will make recycling an option at all locations globally by 2025. That’s a massive improvement for the chain that currently only offers recycling at 10% of its 36,000 or so locations, according to the BBC. This all part of the chain’s efforts to improve their green image, which it’s been working on for awhile now, in order to appeal to customers who prefer less trash with their meals. The chain previously announced that it is hoping to do away with foam containers by the end of this year and use Rainforest Alliance-certified espresso in its lattes. It’s also been working on sustainable beef.

While we applaud these steps, McDonald’s still doles out straws (which are bad) and doesn’t widely offer vegetarian options (aside from the surprisingly vegan apple pies), which many say could be one way to save the planet. Time to take the McVegan global, Mickey Ds!