Following McDonald’s announcing their global initiative to improve packaging and help significantly reduce waste, McDonald’s Taupo has become the first franchise in the country to limit straw usage.

Named the coolest McDonald’s in the world thanks to their converted Douglas DC-3 plane dining room, McDonald’s Taupo is now leading the charge in sustainability. The trial, which started earlier this month, will see no straws handed out to customers unless requested.

McDonald’s Taupo owner Eileen Byrne has long been concerned about litter in Taupo and, in laison with Taupo Council, ensures the CBD streets are cleaned using a machine and pays the wages of the operator.

“McDonald’s Taupo has worked to keep Taupo beautiful for years, so naturally we jumped at the opportunity to be the first restaurant to trial the no-straw initiative,” she said. “Every little bit helps and we hope the trial and awareness catches on in New Zealand.“

Made from polypropylene, a byproduct of fossil fuel petroleum, a single straw takes up to two hundred years to biodegrade. New Zealanders use more than 540 million straws each year, enough to circumnavigate the planet two and a half times.

By 2025, McDonald’s has globally committed to having 100 percent of its packaging come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources. Also by 2025, the company has set a goal to recycle guest packaging in 100 percent of McDonald’s restaurants.

“Kiwis have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue they would like us to address, so we’re working at and beyond our restaurants to increase recycling and help create cleaner communities,” said McDonald’s New Zealand managing director Dave Howse. “It is exciting to be trialling this sustainability initiative in New Zealand. We believe it will be well-received by the communities.”