This week, McDonald's announced that every location in the U.S. will soon be using paper cups for hot beverages instead of plastic. The move is meant to be a positive one for the health of the planet, but it's evident that the fast food giant still has a long way to go to truly be more environmentally responsible.
McDonald's explained that by switching from plastic to paper, the company will be able to recycle more of its cups. Plus, paper cups that are carried out of the restaurant and end up in the garbage will break down more quickly in landfills unlike the current plastic cups that do not readily biodegrade.
While there's no doubt that paper is more biodegradable than plastic, concerns about deforestation should be considered when evaluating the true sustainability of McDonald's plan. The company has stated that they will be using "more" recycled content in the paper cups than in the plastic ones, but has not specified how much more.
A far more green option for McDonalds and other restaurants is natural non-paper recyclables, such as corn or sugar cane-based products. So far, none of the major fast food restaurants have experimented with using these types cups, but doing so could make a big impact on the planet.
What do you think about McDonald’s announcement? Does it make you more likely to eat there than you are now or less likely?
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