McDonald's says nearly all its paper packaging from sustainable fiber

NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) said on Thursday it has nearly achieved its goal of sourcing all of its paper food packaging in restaurants from recycled or sustainable fiber.

The Chicago-based global burger chain said in its annual sustainability report that in 2020 99.6% of the paper bags, food wrappers, napkins, cup carriers and other fiber-based materials it used to package meals for customers came from recycled or certified sustainable fiber sources, up from 92% in 2019.

Many restaurant chains are working to reduce environmental harm from packaging, including using more recyclable or compostable materials and letting customers reuse cups or bowls.

An Adweek-Harris Poll survey of U.S. adults in April about single-use fast-food packaging found that 62% of respondents said they would think more highly of a brand that switched to recyclable packaging, and 81% were concerned about litter and pollution from fast-food restaurants.

Because McDonald's has more than 39,000 restaurants globally, small changes can ripple into other companies and industries.

The McDonald's company logo stands on a sign outside a restaurant in Bretigny-sur-Orge, near Paris, France, July 30, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

McDonald's has set a larger goal for all of its customer packaging to come from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025. Currently, 80% of its packaging comes from such sources. It is also using paper straws and wooden cutlery in multiple markets, it said, and is exploring fiber lids and reusable cups.

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Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Will Dunham

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Hilary Russ writes about global restaurant chains including McDonald's and Starbucks. She previously covered sports betting, as well as municipal bonds, public finance and infrastructure. Hilary previously worked at Law360 covering corporate bankruptcies, white collar crime and the U.S. Supreme Court. At The Cape Cod Times and City Limits, she covered local courts, general news and social and public policy issues. She is an avid bird watcher.