Last updated on September 27, 2021
As a large corporation, McDonald’s is a very popular fast-food chain that is well known all over the nation. Ranging from Mcflurries to french fries, customers enjoy the quick service and low prices of their meals. One of McDonald’s marketing strategies, which is giving toys to children in their Happy Meals, proves to be problematic as they are beginning to experience backlash over the environmental consequences these toys bring.
Making the Shift
After receiving complaints in the United Kingdom two years ago for using large amounts of plastic, McDonald’s has decided to make an effort to use greener substitutes. How do they plan to do this? In an interview with NPR, the company claimed they intend to achieve this goal by “Making our toys out of renewable, recycled, or certified materials will result in about a 90% reduction of fossil fuel-based plastic in Happy Meal toys [compared with 2018].” They aim to use materials such as corn for future toys.
Success in France
Although McDonald’s does hope to implement these changes globally, they have already had immense success in France. Here, the toys have been replaced with eco-friendly items. Instead of figurines, kids can find paper alternatives like coloring sheets and cards which can be collected. This change allowed McDonald’s to reduce the use of pure plastic by thirty percent. Given that records show they provide children with over one billion toys annually, this change will have to be gradual as the shift will take a while.
McDonald’s is not the only company attempting to make these changes. Other large chains such as Burger King hope to reduce the amount of plastic they use as well. Burger King plans to get rid of toys that are not biodegradable by the year 2025. Packaging also proves to be a factor for the high levels of plastic. Reusable packaging is currently in the making and is being tested to combat this problem.