Quantcast

McDonald's Shareholders Vote to Keep Distributing Plastic Straws

Business
Calgary Reviews / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

McDonald's shareholders rejected a proposal to take the first step in banning plastic straws at its 36,000 outlets worldwide.

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.

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."

McDonald's might not be ready to take this step, but many businesses, municipalities and governments around the world are taking steps to reduce single-use plastics.

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, LN

Up to 20% of people may have a food addiction or exhibit addictive-like eating behavior.

Read More Show Less
Spiced hot chocolate. Lilechka75 / iStock / Getty Images

By Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD

Food is the cornerstone of the holiday season. It brings friends and family together to share memories, cultural traditions, and great flavors.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Solar panels at the Renewable Hydrogen Fueling and Production Station on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker / Released

By Tara Lohan

Three years into the Trump administration, its anti-climate and anti-science agenda is well established. Despite dire warnings from the world's leading scientists about the threats from rising greenhouse gas emissions, the administration has stubbornly continued to deny climate change, obstructed and undermined efforts to curb it, and moved again and again to roll back existing regulations that help reduce emissions.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Ryan Raman, MS, RD

Rye bread tends to have a darker color and stronger, earthier taste than regular white and wheat bread, which is one reason why many people enjoy it.

Read More Show Less
Elva Etienne / Moment / Getty Images

By Ketura Persellin

Gift-giving is filled with minefields, but the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) got your back, so you don't need to worry about inadvertently giving family members presents laden with toxic chemicals. With that in mind, here are our suggestions for gifts to give your family this season.

Read More Show Less