In-Brief

McDonald’s to cut back on use of plastic straws in its P.R. restaurants

Arcos Dorados, operator of the McDonald’s brand in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, will stop providing plastic straws for drinks at participating restaurants in Puerto Rico.

Plastic straws for drinks will be provided only to customers who specifically request them, the company stated.

This initiative is part of the assessment McDonald’s is conducting worldwide to support the overall goal of using 100 percent renewable, recyclable or certified containers by 2025. In turn, it joins the changes that the company constantly makes regarding to the materials and packaging used in its restaurants.

Handing out straws upon request has already been tested in several McDonald’s restaurants around the world, including Colombia and Uruguay, where it had a large customer acceptance, the fast-food chain confirmed.

The initiative aims to cut nearly 300 tons of plastic waste — based on the results of the pilot project in Colombia — where six out of 10 customers preferred to take the drink without the straw. McDonald’s officials said the pilot program is a first step toward having sustainable alternatives to straws and other packaging used in restaurants worldwide with the idea of benefiting the environment and society in general, executives said.

“We are looking for ways to use our scale for the benefit of society and the environment. That’s part of McDonald’s new ‘Scale Good For’ global targets, which we call ‘Recipe for the Future’ in Latin America,” said Woods Staton, chairman of the Arcos Dorados board.

“McDonald’s in Puerto Rico also joins this initiative by reducing the use of plastic caps on our drinks,” said Marisol Vega, managing director of Arcos Dorados Puerto Rico.

“And since 1995 we have been making changes to reduce the environmental impact, such as replacing cardboard and foam packaging and additional projects to reduce the use of water and energy in our restaurants,” she said. “We have a big commitment and we want to continue these reductions continuously in favor of the environment ”

McDonald’s objective is to recycle the packages that are delivered on the premises at 100 percent of the restaurants by 2025, taking into account the recycling infrastructure, regulations and consumer behaviors in the different cities where it operates, to be part of the solution and help influence this important change, company executives said.

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