McDonald’s has announced goals to improve its packaging and help significantly reduce waste to positively impact the communities the company serves around the world. By 2025, 100 percent of McDonald’s guest packaging will come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council certification. Also by 2025, the company has set a goal to recycle guest packaging in 100 percent of McDonald’s restaurants.
Based on supplier commitments, McDonald’s New Zealand will reach the goal for 100 percent of components of guest packaging to come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
“With regards to recycling guest packaging, we are in ongoing conversations with waste management providers and other experts looking at the infrastructure developments required,” said McDonald’s New Zealand managing director Dave Howse. “In recent years we have carried out waste audits in our restaurants, and extensive research asking what initiatives New Zealanders would like us to prioritise. We’ll be working to trial and implement key initiatives over the next few years as we work towards the global goals.”
McDonald’s first began its focus on sustainable packaging nearly 25 years ago with the establishment of the groundbreaking partnership with EDF, the Environmental Defence Fund. The initiative eliminated more than 300 million pounds of packaging, recycled 1 million tons of corrugated boxes and reduced waste by 30 percent in the decade following the partnership. In 2014, the company joined WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network program and set its fibre sourcing targets, including FSC preference for packaging made from wood fibre.
Currently, 50 percent of McDonald’s customer packaging comes from renewable, recycled or certified sources and 64 percent of fibre-based packaging comes from certified or recycled sources. Also, an estimated 10 percent of McDonald’s restaurants globally are recycling customer packaging.
The global announcement comes days after another announcement that McDonald’s would phase out foam cups in their overseas restaurant. A spokesperson from McDonald’s confirmed that McDonald’s New Zealand has already stopped using foam cups.