The FINANCIAL -- From now on, Happy Meal orders at McDonald’s restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland will include soft toys, books, or paper-based goodies instead of non-sustainable hard plastic toys. This small change will remove more than 3,000 tons of plastic from circulation in the UK and Ireland.
"At McDonald’s, we’re big on integrity – and that means doing the right thing. With that in mind, we’re making changes in the name of sustainability,"McDonald’s notes.
"We’re proud of this decision, but we wanted to do even more to benefit our planet. So, in 2019, McDonald’s restaurants across the UK and Ireland invited families to return and recycle their plastic Happy Meal toys, instead of throwing them in the trash. Those that were collected by the end of 2019, coupled with surplus toys from restaurants, resulted in more than 1 million toys that were ready to be given a new lease of life," McDonald’s notes.
Just before Christmas, some of these recycled toys were used to create an outdoor playground in the garden of Ronald McDonald House Oxford, a 62-bedroom facility that serves as a home-away-from-home for families with children at Oxford Children’s Hospital.
The new, colorful playground is designed to be accessible to children of all ages and abilities. Even better – the playground can be broken down and recycled once it’s time for a change.
As McDonald’s notes, at least 15 more playgrounds made from recycled Happy Meal toys are planned throughout the UK and Ireland in 2021. Of course, none of this would be possible without the suppliers who are an important part of the McDonald’s UK and Ireland McFamily, including Circular&Co, Veolia, Red Monkey and Plaswood.