***** UPDATE: July 2018
McDonald's has responded to pressure from thousands of SumOfUs members and announced that it will join Starbucks in an effort to design a new recyclable coffee cup. This is a great first step toward addressing the enormous waste footprint of its McCafé business.
But it will take years before any new cup can be designed, tested and manufactured to the scale needed by a business as large as McDonald's.
In the meantime the company has overlooked a simple step which will begin to chip away at the 84 million cups they throw out in Australia every year: reusable coffee cup discounts.
Join us in asking Maccas to offer 50c discounts for customers who bring their own reusable cup today!
McDonald's is celebrating 25 years since the McCafé brand was invented in Melbourne.
But behind the celebratory posters and feel good birthday ads is a shameful fact McDonald’s isn’t telling you: McCafé is the largest producer of coffee cup waste in Australia.
Australia dumps more than 3 billion coffee cups a year - and the plastic lining inside them means that most are never recycled.
84 million of these bear McCafé's logo.
By 2050 there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans. If Finding Nemo were set in 2050, the challenge would be setting him apart from a mass of orange rubbish, not losing him in the deep blue sea.
The thing is, most people would like to consume less single-use plastic and recycle more but corporations with one goal in mind - more profit - make doing the right thing harder than it should be.
After coming under pressure from almost half a million SumOfUs members in the, UK McDonald's last week announced that they would begin trialling paper straws in a range of markets globally. Australia is one.
This is a serious breakthrough! However we will be watching McDonald's straw plans very closely and working with disability activists to hold Maccas accountable that their plan ensures a safe and useable product is accessible for disabled people.
Straws are just one piece of McDonald's massive plastic problem and if the company is serious about taking ownership of this crisis, it needs to address the disaster in its coffee business too.
McCafé is the largest coffee retailer in Australia and one of McDonald’s most profitable business lines globally. It’s a homegrown Aussie success story.
It’s also responsible for dumping a whopping 1.6 million cups a week on our planet - and that's just in Australia alone.
While many smaller, independent cafes are doing their bit by implementing closed loop recycling systems and offering discounts to customers who bring reusable cups, Australia’s most popular café is washing its hands of the problem.
The best way to fight plastic waste is to simply produce less plastic. McDonald’s Australia is proud of having brought McCafé to the world. Now it’s time it took responsibility for the avalanche of plastic it’s brought with it.Tell McDonald’s to face up to the crisis it’s made and cut plastic pollution now.
The Guardian. 15 June 2018.
News.com.au. 22 February 2018.