back to top
My wish lists
Save your wish list
If you want to add more content to your wish list, simply log in. If you do not have a user account, please register for the Hanser Customer Center.

» Do you already have a user account? Please log in here.
» Don't have a user account yet? Please register here.
Your wish lists
If you want to use your wish list during your next visit, simply log in. If you do not have a user account, please register for the Hanser Customer Center.
» Do you already have a user account? Please log in here.
» Don't have a user account yet? Please register here.

« Back

Your advantages at a glance

  • One login for all Hanser portals
  • Individual home page for faster access to preferred content
  • Exclusive access to selected content
  • Personal wish lists on all portals
  • Central management of your personal information and newsletter subscriptions

Register now
Bookmark Bookmarked

McDonald's to Eliminate Foam Packaging

Environmental Impact a Top Priority to the Company

In a statement on their corporate website fast food giant McDonald's say that they plan to eliminate foam packaging from their global system by the end of 2018. While about 2 % of McDonald's packaging, by weight, is currently foam, the company believes this small step is an important one on its journey to more sustainability.

Rarely recycled, expanded polystyrene foam used in beverage cups and takeout containers is a frequent component of marine litter, breaking down into indigestible pellets, which marine animals mistake for food, resulting in their death.

McDonald’s is committed to sustainability as a core business practice today and the environmental impact of their packaging is a top priority to the company, as mentioned in the statement. According to the company, many efforts are under way to improve the sustainability of their packaging. For example, 64% of all their fiber-based packaging now comes from certified or recycled sources, with a goal of 100% by 2020.

In 2015, McDonald’s announced a global Commitment on Forests across the company’s expansive global supply chain. The Commitment builds upon McDonald’s Global Sustainability Framework and encompasses the entire supply chain and focuses on priority products, for which the company is developing specific time-bound sourcing targets. These include: beef, fiber-based packaging, coffee, palm oil, and poultry.

Response to As You Sow Challenge

According to shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, this further step towards sustainability came to pass following engagement by As You Sow. A shareholder proposal filed by As You Sow urging the company to phase out of polystyrene was supported by 32% of shares voted (share value USD 26 billion) in May 2017. McDonald’s phased out foam cups for hot beverages in the United States in 2012, but continued to use them in foreign markets like Hong Kong and the Philippines identified as having high levels of plastics deposition into waterways. It also continued to use foam for cold beverages and food trays in some U.S. markets.

“We congratulate McDonald’s management for removing the last vestiges of polystyrene foam from its global packaging stream,” said Conrad MacKerron, Senior Vice President at As You Sow, who specializes in waste and recycling issues. “This sends an important message to other quick service food companies who may still be using foam. We also hope McDonald’s will next turn its attention to other single use items like plastic straws and cup lids that pose hazards to marine animals and add to the tsunami of plastic waste afflicting world oceans.” As You Sow refiled its shareholder proposal for 2018 but intends to withdraw it based on this action by the company.

Nine countries and more than 100 U.S. cities or counties have banned or restricted foam packaging. 15 major brands including Coca-Cola Co, Danone, Dow Chemical, L’Oreal, Marks & Spencer, Mars, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever recommended replacement of polystyrene foam as a packaging material in a report released in 2017 by the New Plastics Economy Project of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.


Would you like to subscribe to our Newsletters on plastics technology and profit from the latest information?

Subscribe here

Subscribe here

Job Advertisements

Looking for a new challenge? Check out our jobs market!

Job Advertisements

Patents Stimulate Innovation

Patents encourage innovation: Stay on the ball with the latest innovations in the plastics industry in our patents section.