Ninety percent of UK residents visit a McDonald's in the average year, with the chain serving a clientele of 3.7 million customers daily, the report claims. Necessarily, there are lots of straws clogging garbage bins, providing a surplus of rubbish throughout the country when the straws aren't recycled. 8.5 billion plastic straws are used throughout the UK annually, and many aren't recycled.
When the new McDonald's scheme begins, plastic straws will be kept behind the counter at some UK outposts, and patrons will have to ask for one, much like they do for burgers, fries, and figurines of weird, purple mascots.
McDonald's is following the lead of other prominent eateries in the UK, including Pizza Express and Wetherspoon, a ubiquitous pub chain, in eschewing plastic straws. The trend has gained traction internationally, with California residents voting to ban the use of plastic bags in supermarkets in 2016, with a similar legislative item currently making its way through the state government that could potentially ban sit-down restaurants from providing plastic straws unless customers ask for one. According to National Geographic, Kenya, China, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Macedonia have also banned plastic bags.