McDonald's Shareholders Vote to Keep Distributing Plastic Straws
The proposal, published in an SEC filing in April, would have required the fast food giant to prepare a report on the business risks of using plastic straws, and the company's efforts to develop and implement more sustainable alternatives in its restaurants.
"We believe our company has an opportunity to improve its brand by demonstrating leadership in the elimination of plastic straws," the proposal states.
Despite vigorous campaigning from environmental activists, the proposal received only 7.65 percent of the vote at Thursday's annual meeting, USA TODAY reported.
The result was not surprising. The shareholders followed a recommendation from the chain's board of directors, who said the proposal would divert resources from their other environmental initiatives, such as a pledge made in January to source all packaging from renewable or recycled sources by 2025.
"[T]he requested report is unnecessary, redundant to our current practices and initiatives, and has the potential for a diversion of resources with no corresponding benefit to the company, our customers, and our shareholders, particularly in light of our ongoing packaging sustainability efforts," stated materials shared with shareholders before the meeting, the Mercury News reported.
Two Major Food Companies Announce War on Packaging Waste https://t.co/E9fnRdGRXr @savingoceans @PlasticPollutes @SaveOurShores— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1516141208.0
McDonald's distributes 95 million plastic straws around the world every day, according to the consumer advocacy group SumOfUs, which backed the proposal.
A SumOfUs online petition urging the company to ban plastic straws has gathered more than 480,000 signatures.
"McDonald's uses millions of plastic straws every single day. Used for just a few seconds, then thrown away, many end up polluting our oceans," the petition reads. "If we can get McDonald's to ditch its dirty habit we can stop millions of plastic straws clogging up our oceans and killing the animals that live in them."
Earlier this week, Alaska Airlines announced it will stop distributing single-use plastic stirring straws and citrus picks in its lounges and on its domestic and international flights. On Wednesday, New York City Council introduced a bill to ban the use of plastic straws in the city.
In March, McDonald's said it would phase out single-use plastic straws in its UK restaurants.
We’re pleased to announce that from May we’ll be trialling paper straws in restaurants and moving our recyclable pl… https://t.co/MvfXmaPkZQ— McDonald's UK News (@McDonald's UK News)1522221180.0
England's Somerset county can now boast its first beaver dam in more than 400 years.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Alex McInturff, Christine Wilkinson and Wenjing Xu
What is the most common form of human infrastructure in the world? It may well be the fence. Recent estimates suggest that the total length of all fencing around the globe is 10 times greater than the total length of roads. If our planet's fences were stretched end to end, they would likely bridge the distance from Earth to the Sun multiple times.
Early advertisement for barbed wire fencing, 1880-1889. The advent of barbed wire dramatically changed ranching and land use in the American West by ending the open range system. Kansas Historical Society / CC BY-ND
The authors assembled a conservative data set of potential fence lines across the U.S. West. They calculated the nearest distance to any given fence to be less than 31 miles (50 kilometers), with a mean of about 2 miles (3.1 kilometers). McInturff et al,. 2020 / CC BY-ND
- 'This Is Not Like a Fence in a Backyard' — Trump's Border Wall vs ... ›
- New Border Wall Construction Threatens 8 Species With Extinction ... ›
Climate change is making ancient Hopi farming nearly impossible, threatening not just the Tribe's staple food source, but a pillar of its culture and religion, the Arizona Republic reports.
- These Are the Challenges Facing India's Most Sacred River ... ›
- Oil Spill Causes 'Major Disaster' for Ganges River Dolphins ... ›
By Kenny Stancil
An expert panel of top international and environmental lawyers have begun working this month on a legal definition of "ecocide" with the goal of making mass ecological damage an enforceable international crime on par with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
- Are the Amazon Fires a Crime Against Humanity? - EcoWatch ›
- 'Her Work Will Live On': Climate Movement Mourns Loss of Ecocide ... ›