SINGLE-USE PLASTICS
Major to-go food and drinks brands commit to reducing packaging waste
Yum! Brands (Louisville, Kentucky / USA; www.yum.com), which operates the fast-food brands KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, has announced it will “accelerate efforts” up to 2022 to phase out EPS packaging worldwide at all the three brands’ locations. The action is part of the group’s pledge to make all its plastic packaging for consumers worldwide recoverable or reusable by 2025. At its three US corporate offices, Yum! will also shift all plastic packaging so that it is reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of 2020.

Environmental pressure group As You Sow welcomes the company’s step to reduce EPS containers, with As You Sow senior VP Conrad MacKerron saying, “This is a win for oceans and marine life as foam packaging poses particular threats to wildlife.”

Earlier this year, Starbucks (Seattle, Washington / USA; www.starbucks.com) said it would shift from single-use to reusable packaging, following months of dialogue with As You Sow. The coffee giant in 2018 committed to eliminating disposable plastic straws worldwide – see Plasteurope.com of 13.07.2018.

McDonald’s Australia is replacing plastic cutlery and straws with alternative materials (Photo: McDonald’s)
As You Sow has also played a part in pressuring McDonald’s (Oak Brook, Illinois / USA; www.mcdonalds.com) to phase out its EPS containers – see Plasteurope.com of 16.01.2018. The burger chain recently announced that it will be phasing out plastic cutlery from all its restaurants in Australia by the end of 2020. In replacement, it will transition to fibre-based cutlery, saying that would remove 585 t/y of plastics.

McDonald’s Australia will also remove 500m plastic straws per year from circulation in 2020, transitioning to an “alternative straw option.” Whether these measures offer reduced greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage is questionable.
06.03.2020 Plasteurope.com [244674-0]
Published on 06.03.2020

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