McDonald's Responds to Plastic-Free Happy Meal Petition

There's been a petition circulating online pleading with fast food giants like McDonald's and Burger King to remove plastic-based toys from children's meals. The petition is nearly at 400,000 signatures and it's certainly caught the eye of at least one of the fast-food chains listed in the petition. McDonald's has provided a statement in which they promise to reduce plastic as much as possible.

"The reduction in use of plastics is a very important issue to McDonald’s globally and consistent with our overall Scale for Good packaging and recycling goals," a McDonald's spokesperson told us. "We have an active global working group exploring the production of more sustainable toy options.

“While we cannot provide details of our Happy Meal promotions beyond the end of 2019 at this stage, we remain committed to reducing plastic across our business.”

The chain was sure to point out the plastic-reducing measures implemented in their locations in the United Kingdom. Across the pond, the restaurants will be making a concentrated effort on reducing the amount of plastic toys given away in their trademark Happy Meals.

“In the UK in particular, there will be a reduction in the number of hard plastic toys given away in comparison to the first half of the year, however, this is not indicative of a new commitment to reduce plastics in Happy Meal toys," McDonald's says. "This six month promotional period in the UK will provide different options to customers including a mixture of board games, books and soft toys, and serve as a test to understand more about what customers in this market want while we continue to execute our global work."


Toys have long been a part of the ethos of McDonald's brand, so it is a bit understandable they'd test the removal of hard plastic toys and see the repercussions on their books. They do, after all, have a bottom line to look after.

"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 reads. "We want anything they give to us to be sustainable so we can protect the planet for us and for future generations."