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McDonald's removes plastic straws in a major market — the US could be next

By Business Insider

McDonald's is replacing plastic straws with paper ones in its UK and Ireland restaurants. The new straws will be in operation from September. McDonald's is currentRead full story


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  • Sonya Jackson
    Sonya JacksonproFounder at Mantra for Good

    Good for McDonald’s. Now, let’s have an honest talk about straws. Paper straws degrade fast and the residue left behind in your drink and mouth are disgusting. Straws cause wrinkles and create intestinal gas and no one wants either. Carrying a reusable straw is an easy fix, but the bigger question remains. Do we really need straws? Someone, perhaps Marvin C. Scott who patented the modern straw, convinced us it is a vital necessity. Here’s a radical idea... Let’s just drink from the cup.

  • Some restaurants in Malibu, where plastic straws have been banned, use straws made of pasta — it’s a cool mouth feel, plus kids love it.

  • Ian Kumamoto
    Ian Kumamoto Student at New York University

    @Sonya agreed. I highly doubt that we ever "need" straws. Do they make things more convenient? I think in some circumstances, sure, but drinking isn't impossible without them. Overall as a concept they seem to make zero sense- we use them for five minutes and they will be in the ocean/landfills for decades.

  • Andrew Deitchman
    Andrew DeitchmanCo-Founder/CEO at The New Stand

    After a recent trip to the beach with lots of floating plastic, I’m happy to see this.

  • Here’s to hoping they make this change in North America sooner rather than later.

  • Max Lockie
    Max LockiePlatform Editor at Quartz

    I'm fine with this. But if they ever come for ice in drinks on some sort of energy consumption / C02 grounds...I'll riot.

  • Why not just serve the Cokes in recyclable cans. No need for a straw and no supersizing. Everyone wins.

  • Laurel Touby
    Laurel ToubyManaging Partner/GM at Supernode Ventures

    Halleleuia. But we need to use straws that are not paper either. Potato starch, anyone? Is some materials science master working on this issue?

  • Helen Hoefele
    Helen HoefeleBlogger at

    Plastic straws have a different drinking experience than paper straws. But, what about the plastic lids? Why not create a new drinking cup all together? Though I would attest that going totally strawless changes the drinking experience and convenience all together. In the US, I'd like to see more public service announcements so the public is more aware and can take action. Still, the drinking experience would change enough that I don't see Coke or Pepsi being very supportive of any outcry for change either way.

  • Emily B
    Emily Bowner at Iluvit!

    Ya! That's awesome, finally someone we can trust towards our health!! Now, let's start working the food!! ; )

  • Robert Lobdell
    Robert Lobdell

    Give me a break. If you think it’s that big of a deal, you need to get one of those personal folding straws and keep one in your pocket. Or you could just drink it the old fashioned way. People your carrying this save the planet stuff to far.. The planet will be fine, with you and your trash or without you.

  • Straws are one of the worst things to happen to our Earth. Americans use enough straws each year to fill over 46,000 school busses. These straws, quite obviously, are not going into school buses, they are going into oceans. This is a step in balancing human convenience to to needs of other beings on this planet. Thanks, Mickey D’s! Now bring this to America.

  • Kyo Kaku
    Kyo KakuVice President at China-Japan J/V

    Why don’t we just drink straight from the cup?

    Paper straws are better but still harmful to the environment.

  • I’m not a huge fan of fast food but this is really a huge bold move bravo to them!

  • Avery Vukhac
    Avery VukhacCo-Founder and CEO at Camo Slime

    This is so interesting

  • Annika O'Brien
    Annika O'BrienCustomer Service Representative

    Starbucks has a special cup that they serve cold brew in occasionally. Nitro cold brew I believe? Either way, it’s a cup with a lid much like the ones McDonalds use for hot coffees, but holds a cold drink. Why not put cold drinks in something like the coffee cups with the lids you can drink from without a straw?

  • Karl Schievelbein
    Karl Schievelbein

    Finally. Should have happened 20 years ago.

  • Nafis Wilson
    Nafis Wilson

    Drinking with a straw is not even healthy for you.....

  • Yuni Wakamatu
    Yuni Wakamatu

    I don't remember the last time I ordered the drink.

  • Robert Zink
    Robert Zink

    This is crazy.

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