McDonald's Going All-Recycling By 2025

The fast food giant wants to have 100% of its customer packaging come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources and have recycling available in all its restaurants.

McDonald's Corp. has announced that it has set goals to use only environmentally friendly packaging by 2025 and offer recycling in every location across the globe by the same year.

Today half of all McDonald's customer packaging comes from renewable, recycled or certified sources and 64 percent of fiber-based packaging comes from certified or recycled sources.

Francesca DeBiase, McDonald's chief sustainability officer, said it was customers' number one request "to use less packaging, sourced responsibly and created to be taken care of after use".

A spokesperson for McDonald's United Kingdom said the company was committed to reducing its environmental impact and continues to "challenge ourselves and our supplier partners to help evolve our thinking, and this includes the recycling of coffee cups".

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In 2015, the company doubled its percent of certified or recycled content for consumer fiber-based packaging to 53 percent from 23 percent the prior year. Likewise, 10 percent of McDonald's restaurants globally are recycling customer packaging.

"In recent years we have carried out waste audits in our restaurants, and extensive research asking what initiatives New Zealanders would like us to prioritise", McDonald's New Zealand managing director Dave Howse said.

After last week's report on McDonald's foam-packaging goals, a spokesperson said: "With our size and reach we have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference for our planet, and this decision is a significant step in our journey to be a better McDonald's and positively impact the communities we serve". McDonald's will lean toward products with Forest Stewardship Council certification as well.

McDonald's plans to work with industry experts, local governments and environmental associations, to improve packaging and recycling practices.

McDonald's has more than 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

  • Darren Santiago