In world where bars and other businesses everywhere are working to reduce the amount of waste – and more specifically plastic waste being put into the environment, McDonalds have decided its not a big deal. WTF McDonalds?
On May 24th, 2018, McDonalds shareholders voted against a request from SumOfUs to report on their use of plastic straws, with the company calling it “unnecessary and redundant”.
Where did “Say no to Straws” come from?
In August 2015 the below video was published by CostaRicanSeaTurtles on YouTube. It’s pretty grim. I’ll just leave it here so you can watch it while you munch some McNuggets and slurp down a thick shake.
Its pretty horrific. Now, I’m not someone who thinks we should fix everything with regulations. I do however think that we should share information and make a personal judgement call on whether we’re comfortable buying from any given business.
Amazing bars in the UK that have said no to plastic straws:
Now, I know this list won’t be exhaustive, but here are some of the bars and bar chains that have committed to stop using plastic straws in their businesses. If your business has refused the straw, let me know and I’ll be happy to add you to the list 🙂
- Liberation Group
- Deltic Group
- JD Wetherspoon
- All Bar One
- Laine Pub Company
- Be At One
- Irish Pubs Global
- Ei Group
- TGI Friday’s
I will happily drink in any of these venues. They’ve looked at what’s going on and decided to remove plastic straws from their venues. Regardless of whether they’ve decided to remove straws because its the right thing to do or to get publicity and protect themselves from backlash, they removed them. The reason doesn’t matter to the environment, the oceans and the turtles.
We’ve discussed some of the alternatives, which range from paper to pasta in our sustainability section on the website.
The reason I don’t think things should be sorted out with regulations is simple. Businesses should be able to operate as they wish. Consumers should also be able to buy what they want, as long as they have the information to make an informed choice about what they’re buying and who from.
I, for example think that the cake shop in America that decided they didn’t want to make a gay wedding cake on religious grounds should be allowed to make that call. I also believe that everyone should know they made that call and have the option to not spend their money there if that doesn’t fit their moral compass. This is just my opinion. Businesses should be free to make bad decisions, and should suffer the consequences if the market doesn’t like those decisions.
I’ll point out – I’m not religious and I don’t support discrimination, but businesses should be free to destroy themselves through their own decisions. I don’t have to spend my money with them if I don’t agree with them.
Okay. Back to the subject
McDonalds Plastic Straw Saga
While McDonalds had a chance to show some leadership on the world stage with eliminating the plastic straws across its restaurants, it instead took the following position:
”The requested report is unnecessary, redundant to our current practices and initiatives, and has the potential for a distraction of resources with no corresponding benefit to the company, our customers, and our shareholders”
In the UK, McDonalds has started testing alternatives, though it seems this is because the government is looking to ban straws.
McDonalds. Its not that hard. When small bars with no buying power can do it, surely you can do better. I’ll miss McNuggets if you don’t fix this.