Aussie outrage over Macca’s straw ban
FIRST it was plastic bag ban rage - now Australians are turning to McDonald's to take out their anger and frustration.
News the fast-food giant is going to make sipping a thickshake harder has outraged people across the country - and the world - who say the plastic ban is being taken too far, causing them too much inconvenience.
The environmental impact speaks for itself - more than 10 million plastic straws are used in Australia every day.
They contribute to the estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic filling our oceans and by 2050 experts estimate there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
But news of the McDonald's move to phase out plastic straws over the next two years has caused people to flood social media in anger, with many joking it is the "last straw".
One Facebook user said it was "overkill looking for public praise".
"What about the lid on the drinks that uses so much more plastic," he said.
"Then we have plastic spoons and knives and forks they give you. This campaign is bordering on insane."
Many agreed the plan to roll out the change to all 970 restaurants nationwide by 2020 was more about the company's corporate image than the environment.
I'm more than happy to reduce plastic waste but even though it's been a while between drinks (maybe 30 years) the concept of sucking up an old school @mcdonalds thickshake via a paper straw beggars belief...is it even physically possible? https://t.co/lER2XSLC6P— Albert Landman (@albyland) July 19, 2018
"Plastic straws make up less than 0.003 per cent of the plastic in the ocean. The straw ban is f*****g pointless and shifts the blame from corporations systemically destroying the environment to individuals," said one Twitter user.
Paul Harvey, an environmental scientist at Macquarie University, has previously said without appropriate exemptions, a federal legislative ban on single-use plastic straws could prevent people in need from "accessing a basic medical aid".
"We need to ensure that we have the right strategy to accommodate those who still depend on single-use plastics," he said.
Disability rights groups across the world have been vocal in their views, highlighting people with conditions such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis need straws to eat and drink.
"Other types of straws simply do not offer the combination of strength, flexibility, and safety that plastic straws do," said one US group after the move to ban straws there.
Worldwide people have been active in their straw ban campaigns, claiming success when companies announce their changes.
Campaigners claimed victory when Starbucks announced it would stop using plastic straws in its stores by 2020, with a petition to encourage them gaining 150,000 supporters.
Even kids have started their own petitions to encourage giants such as Disney World to ban straws and lids.
Others include a petition to stop Subway with more than 95,000 signatures, and ongoing McDonald's pushes around the world.
In Australia, McDonald's will start trialling paper straws in August in two outlets.
The move comes as supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles get rid of free plastic bags.
Woolworths has also said it will stop selling plastic straws by the end of 2018 and will remove plastic packaging from a further 80 fruit and vegetable lines in a bid to appease increasingly environmentally conscious customers.
McDonald's says the trial is part of a larger, long-term global effort to identify viable, sustainable alternatives to its single-use plastic straws.
"We know plastic straws is a topic our customers are passionate about and we will find a viable solution," McDonald's Australia supply chain director Robert Sexton said.
Greenpeace Australia applauded the decision.
"It's wonderful McDonald's is making a commitment to reducing consumption of single-use plastic and we look forward to seeing more detail around this proposal to see the overall impact," Greenpeace spokesman Simon Black said.
McDonald's paper straws are the same as those it's trialling in the UK.
Being super old, I remember when McDonald's straws where paper in the first place.— AshGhebranious (@AshGhebranious) July 19, 2018
My trip to McDonald’s yesterday is still haunting me.— D'nay (@daniellaemay) July 18, 2018
Paper straws, smaller Mcflurrys (with no option to get a bigger one), my coke was flat, extra money for an iced frappe because of sugar tax
Wtf is going on 😡