2019 is the year of the petition and though we've seen some surprising — and flat-out bonkers — petitions surface, none may be as surprising as the one we're about to talk about. A petition that's been circulating from a pair of kids is asking McDonald's and Burger King to reconsider handing out plastic toys with their kid's meals in an effort to help save the environment. Though the petition itself has been around for a while, it's just started gaining steam in plastic-free circles and is now encroaching on half a million signatures.
"We like to go to eat at Burger King and McDonald’s, but children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea," the petition on Change.org reads. "We want anything they give to us to be sustainable so we can protect the planet for us and for future generations."
As of this writing, the petition has just over 338,000 signatures and has even been featured on BBC's War on Plastic documentary looking into the reduction of single-use plastic. The petition was started by Ella, 9, and Caitlin, 7, over six months ago.
"After we learned about the environment and pollution in school we wanted to do everything we could to help," the petition continues. "We put a poster up in the window of our house about saving the planet and we try and recycle as much as we can. But we want to do more, which is why we started this petition. It’s not enough to make recyclable plastic toys - big, rich companies shouldn’t be making toys out of plastic at all."
Toys have long been a fixture in McDonald's Happy Meals and Burger King's King Jr. Meals. In fact, Happy Meals first debuted at McDonald's in 1979 and have featured a small toy ever since, typically involving a licensed product from a film or television studio.
Outside of being included in the Happy Meals, the toys have launched their own secondary market for collectors and the like. In fact, some of the toys have turned into sought-after pieces by toy collectors and antiquers alike. During the Furby craze of the late 1990s, McDonald's released a set of 80 different toys and twenty-some years later, a full set can't be purchased for under $300.
Would you be sad to see toys leave Happy Meals? What's the most memorable toy you got from a meal growing up? Share your thoughts in the comments below or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt!