McDonald’s Corp said on Thursday (Aug 19) it has nearly achieved its goal of sourcing all of its paper food packaging in restaurants from recycled or sustainable fiber.
The Chicago-based global burger chain said in its annual sustainability report that in 2020, 99.6% of the paper bags, food wrappers, napkins, cup carriers and other fiber-based materials it used to package meals for customers came from recycled or certified sustainable fiber sources, up from 92% in 2019.
Many restaurant chains are working to reduce environmental harm from packaging, including using more recyclable or compostable materials and letting customers reuse cups or bowls.
An Adweek-Harris Poll survey of U.S. adults in April about single-use fast-food packaging found that 62% of respondents said they would think more highly of a brand that switched to recyclable packaging, and 81% were concerned about litter and pollution from fast-food restaurants.
Because McDonald’s has more than 39,000 restaurants globally, small changes can ripple into other companies and industries.
McDonald’s has set a larger goal for all of its customer packaging to come from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025. Currently, 80% of its packaging comes from such sources. It is also using paper straws and wooden cutlery in multiple markets, it said, and is exploring fiber lids and reusable cups.