McDonald's paper straws 'fully recyclable' makers say

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Image caption,
Paper straws were brought in to replace the plastic ones

McDonald's new paper straws are fully recyclable, its makers have said.

McDonald's switched to paper in its UK branches as part of a green drive last year.

Ebbw Vale-based Transend Packaging said the issue was not with the straws, adding there was a need for investment in the UK's recycling infrastructure.

Mark Varney, the firm's marketing director, told Radio Wales Breakfast with Claire Summers: "There's two major things here - the product and the process.

"The fact of the matter is our straw is recyclable, 100% recyclable."

However, he said "infrastructure from businesses and local authorities" was needed "to help to maximise the opportunity to recycle them".

"We constantly work on new solutions, the straw of last year to where you look at now is totally different," he said, adding that they were working with recycling companies to "align" recycling processes at all levels to make sure that all recyclable products were recycled.

The restaurant chain uses 1.8 million straws a day in the UK, so the move to paper was a significant step in helping to reduce single-use plastic.

Some single-use plastic products can take hundreds of years to decompose if not recycled.

The move to paper straws followed a successful trial in selected McDonald's restaurants earlier in 2018.

However, some customers were unhappy with the new straws, saying they dissolved before a drink could be finished, with milkshakes particularly hard to drink.

A petition by irate McDonald's customers to bring back plastic straws has so far been signed by 51,000 people.

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