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McDonald’s ditches polystyrene coffee cups

October 1, 2013

McDonald’s ditches polystyrene coffee cups

McDonald’s has agreed to use paper cups rather than polystyrene foam cups to hold hot drinks at all its 14,000 US outlets following a concerted campaign by green groups. The move comes after sustainable shareholder advocacy group As You Sow filed a shareholder proposal in 2011 asking the company to stop using the foam, which had already been phased out from its hamburger boxes in the 1990s.

As the resolution gained 30 percent of shareowners’ vote, McDonald’s last year trialed double-walled paper hot cups at around 2,000 restaurants mainly on the West Coast. Having dubbed the pilot successful, the company last week announced the paper cup will now become the standard hot beverages cup at all its US outlets.

Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president of As You Sow, congratulated McDonald's on ditching polystyrene but urged to company to consider taking further action to keep up with its rivals. "McDonald's has made a great start by phasing out foam," MacKerron said in a statement. "We hope they will also incorporate recycled fibre in the cups and develop on-site systems to collect and recycle food packaging."

Read more at Business Green.

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