**UPDATE 20 July 2018: In response to public pressure, McDonalds is moving away from plastic straws Australia, the UK and Ireland with testing of alternatives in Belgium, US, France, Sweden and Norway. While all companies need to urgently reduce their plastic footprints, some disabled people need a robust flexible straw that works in hot and cold drinks in order to drink. It’s vital that we continue to pressure companies to do what’s right by people as well as the environment.**
**UPDATE: On 28 March 2018 McDonald's announced it is ditching plastic straws from its UK restaurants, phasing them out from May. This is great news, but we need McDonald's to do stop using plastic straws worldwide, so keep signing and sharing!**
Plastics are literally killing our marine life and McDonald's is complicit. In a cringe-inducing video that's gone viral, a team of scientist pulled a plastic straw from the nostril of a sea turtle while it winces in pain and bleeds.
What is even worse about this viral video is that incidents like this are becoming more and more common. Each year at least a million seabirds and hundreds of thousands of marine mammals slowly die when they entangle themselves or ingest plastic pollution. As one of the biggest distributors of single-use plastics, which are only 14% recyclable, the fast food industry is the world’s culprit for the plastic pollution in our oceans.
McDonald’s in particular provides single-use plastic straws in its 36,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. Being the most infamous fast-food restaurant in the world, McDonald’s should lead the way in banning the plastic straw.
Over the past quarter century, straws have routinely been one of the top ten items found on beaches around the world. It is said that based on U.S consumption alone, there are enough straws that can wrap around the earth's circumference 2.5 times a day. Which is absurd, since straws are essentially useless. They are an item of convenience that people use on average 20 minutes a day or even less, but their effect lasts a lifetime.
We have all seen it too many times before. Birds dying by the thousands with plastic in their stomach, fish entangled in plastic 6 pack rings and now the latest-plastic straws suffocating sea turtles. It is obvious that our marine animals are crying out for help. The time is now to take action against this plastic pollution epidemic.
In the past, SumOfUs members have fought to make sure corporations protect our environment. We came together to stop Starbucks from using conflict palm oil to protect our rainforests. Now it’s time to turn our sights on McDonald’s and save our marine life.
Created by SumOfUs member Meghan Miller