McDonald's Unveils New McFlurry Containers In Bid to Cut Down On Plastics

Over the past couple of years, you may have noticed that more nationwide chains have made the switch to paper straws.

On one hand, it's not difficult to see the importance of not contributing to the literal islands of plastic floating throughout the world's oceans and putting the lives of sea turtles at risk.

On the other hand, it's hard not to admit that some of these straws are designed better than others and drinking from them without warping them takes a little practice.

Regardless, some restaurant chains have committed to adopting them and McDonald's is taking the pivot away from plastic a step further.

We've all experienced the sheer bliss and mix-in magic that is a McDonald's McFlurry.

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The ice cream is never too soft, but never too frozen, and whether you opt for Oreo, smarties, Skors, or their wide selection of seasonal flavors, they always have a solid ratio of crunch to cream.

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But aside from the ice cream machine literally never working, McFlurries do pose a but of an issue.

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As you can probably already tell, McFlurry packaging isn't the most environmentally friendly.

The sweet treat not only comes with a special hard plastic spoon that hooks right up to the ice cream machine, but it's topped off with a large plastic lid.

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When you add up how many McFlurries are sold each day, it ends up being a lot of plastic.

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Especially now that summer has officially begun, and everyone in the McDonalds line will be ordering an ice cream.

The plastic lid is really only for aesthetics, but likely hasn't been changed because it is just the way the company has always done things.

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Starting in September, all McFlurries made at McDnoald's locations in the U.K. will be served in different containers.


As Metro reported, the fast food chain is seeking to scrap the current plastic-heavy containers for ones made from cardboard.

Fifty percent of these containers will be made from recycled materials, while the other half will reportedly come from new, sustainable sources.

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As you might have noticed from that photo, however, it seems the plastic McFlurry spoon is proving a little harder to replace.

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Nevertheless, this change in containers is expected to lead to a 422-ton reduction in plastic waste every year.

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This is an unexpected move in the right direction for the fast food giant.

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Is this something I expected from McDonalds? Absolutely not. But am I impressed? Heck yeah. I'm excited to see how these changes snow ball into more positive change.

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The McFlurries won't be the only product to undergo this change in packaging, however.

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McDonald's is also planning to remove single-use plastics from their salads, which include the bowl and any additional shaker cups or lids.

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This is expected to further reduce plastic waste by 112 tons.

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McDonalds isn't just "some fast food place"— they are a major partner in the fast industry.

Their decision to cut down on plastic use will likely inspire other companies to follow suit.

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This initiative expands upon McDonald's decision to adopt paper straws in U.K. locations last year.

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This was a response to estimates that customers used 8 billion plastic straws every year, but Metro reported that some customers found them "mushy" and started putting the restaurant's plastic coffee lids on their drinks instead.

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Those customers may be out of luck, however, as this is unlikely to be the last plastic-reducing change in McDnoald's future.

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That's because the corporation is seeking to use only renewable or recycled packaging sources by 2025 and reduce its general greenhouse gas emissions by 36% by 2030.

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Those in the U.S. have likely noticed that their McDonald's straws are still plastic, as the paper straws seem to be a mostly British phenomenon for now.

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This makes it unclear as to whether the McFlurry and salad packaging change will occur stateside when September hits, but now you'll know it when you see it.

h/t: Metro

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