McDonald’s plastic reduction pledge

McDonald’s has pledged to eliminate plastic cutlery and straws from its restaurants across Australia by the end of 2020.

This action from the burger chain will see an estimated 585 tonnes of plastic removed annually.

McDonald’s and Australia Post were among major retailers to attend the first National Plastics Summit in Canberra. The summit aimed to reiterate Australia’s national packaging targets to those in the industry, and for businesses to be able to share their actions and lessons learned.

McDonald’s Australia director of supply chain and sustainability Kylie Freeland said “We’re committed to being an industry leader in sustainable practices, ultimately using our scale for good to positively impact challenges facing the communities we operate in.”

Australia Post is aiming to have 100 per cent of its plastic satchel range manufactured from recycled materials by 2021 in an effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, non-renewable resource use and water consumption.

“As online shopping grows, Australia Post is focused on reducing the quantity of non-recycled packaging that moves through our network,” said Australia Post executive general manager of community and consumer Nicole Sheffield.

Other big name brands at the summit included Coles, Qantas, Kmart and Target, Woolworths, and Officeworks.

Assistant minister for waste reduction and environmental management Trevor Evans said the summit was an important step toward driving a long-term push toward a circular economy.

“We are looking towards fundamentally changing the way we think about and manage our waste, and creating new markets for recycled products,” Evans said.

“This transformation towards a circular economy will both create jobs and help our environment.”