Burger King announces plans to ban plastic toys from its children’s meals as it puts pressure on other fast food outlets to follow

Burger King announces plans to ban plastic toys from its children's meals as it puts pressure on other fast food outlets to follow

Burger King will remove all plastic toys from its children’s meals in the UK from Thursday in order to tackle waste, as other fast food giants are urged to follow suit.
McDonald’s announced it would be making a similar move, and will allow parents to “swap out” Happy Meal toys for a bag of fruit in selected stores.
In early 2020, the chain will also run a trial of always offering customers a choice between a book and a plastic toy. 
Burger King’s move is set to reduce its plastic output by 320 tonnes annually and the fast food giant said  it was “spurred on” by Southampton sisters Ella and Caitlin McEwan’s petition against the use of plastic toys in children’s meals.
The Change.org petition, calling on Burger King and McDonald’s to “think of the environment and stop giving plastic toys with their kids meals”, has attracted half-a-million signatures.
Burger King UK chief executive Alasdair Murdoch said: “We’re making a start. This is a step in the right direction.
“If it makes other competitors move their practices forward, that can only be a good thing.”
The chain is installing amnesty bins in every one of its restaurants across the UK where people can drop off any free plastic meal toys, including those given away with confectionery or within children’s magazines.
The plastic will be transformed into new play areas and restaurant items including interactive trays.
Fast food outlets have been working to reduce the plastic waste they generate.
McDonald’s recently switched its straws from plastic to paper, removed the plastic lids of its McFlurry ice creams and has removed single-use plastic from salads – with all main meal and side salads now served in cardboard containers. Together these changes will reduce plastic waste by 1005 metric tonnes annually.
Paul Pomroy, the CEO of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: “We care passionately about the environment, and we have a commitment to reducing plastic across our business – that includes the Happy Meal.
“We recognise that some people may not want a plastic Happy Meal toy, but we also know that the gifts provide fun for many families and children. That’s why we’ll be running these trials, in order to give our customers a choice; they also can choose not to have a toy or gift at all.
“We know that our Happy Meal is much loved by our customers so any changes need to be carefully considered.”

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