McDonald's is testing plastic straw alternative in the US

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The fast-food chain says restaurants there will switch to paper straws, starting in September.

"The straw stays in our environment without decomposing for hundreds of years", said Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn), one of the bill's sponsors.

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The company is also trialling alternatives to plastic straws in its restaurants in Belgium and tests are planned for selected restaurants in the U.S., France, Sweden, Norway and Australia later this year.

McDonald's announced a phased rollout of paper straws in all 1,361 of its outlets in the United Kingdom and Ireland with completion set for 2019, as well as plans to test alternatives to plastic straws in multiple markets across the globe later this year. The activist group SumofUs estimate that every day, McDonald's alone dispenses millions of plastic straws that customers discard and leave them to litter beaches or clog waterways and fill the dump. Some people point out that some people with disabilities require straws to ingest food and liquids, and say they will now be required to carry a personal straw around with them, since paper straws collapse more easily and are generally seen as less user friendly. A 2015 YouTube video of a turtle whose head was impaled by a plastic straw has been watched more than 27m times.

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Congratulations to McDonald's on making this significant contribution to help our natural environment.

"Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting", May added. And because plastic drinking straws are in most cases too lightweight to recycle they end up polluting our oceans. The Northern Irish factory of the Finnish packaging company Huhtamaki will also supply McDonald's but is understood to not yet have paper straw production capabilities.

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