McDonald's is ditching plastic straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Credit PA

Credit PA

The trial was very successful, with McDonald's chief executive of United Kingdom and Ireland Paul Pomroy saying: "Our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws but to do so without compromising their overall experience when visiting our restaurants".

British officials will launch later this year a public consultation for a potential bill banning the sale of the single-use plastics.

"We want more companies to say no to unnecessary single-use plastics".

Plastic straws are the sixth most common type of litter globally, according to Litterati, an app that identifies and maps trash.

In May, McDonald's shareholders overwhelmingly rejected a proposal asking the company for a report about the business risks associated with plastic straws.

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McDonald's said its decision followed a successful trial in selected restaurants earlier this year.

In March, the global fast food chain announced the phase-out of plastic straws in Europe in an effort to reduce its contribution to plastic pollution.

The roll-out in 1,361 branches will begin in September and aim to be completed next year.

Transcend Packaging in Wales, and Huhtamaki in Belfast, will supply the straws for all 1,361 McDonald's restaurants.

"Those are complicated, but we're working with our suppliers to find a solution to that", he said.

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"The Government's ambitious plans, combined with strong customer opinion, has helped to accelerate the move away from plastic".

"Our customers have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue they would like us to address", Francesca Debiase, McDonald's chief supply chain and sustainability officer said in a statement in January. "We are testing straw alternatives in other countries to provide the best experience for our customers".

In parts of Latin America and Malaysia, the company is starting to offer straws on request only.

The big change has had the seal of approval from Michael Gove, Environment Secretary.

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