McDonalds The Latest To Dump Plastic Straws

All 970 Maccas outlets in Australia will have paper straws in two years.

Fast food giant McDonalds have vowed to ditch plastic straws nation wide by 2020.

Paper straws will be trialed in two stores from August and will eventually be rolled out across the country.

McDonalds said on Wednesday the Australian initiative is part of a larger global move to make businesses processes more environmentally friendly.

Maccas will phase out plastic straws by 2020. Image: Getty Images.

A spokesperson from Greenpeace Australia Simon Black told AAP the move is a step in the right direction.

“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.”

Marriot Hotels said on Thursday that they will eliminate plastics straws from all of their properties internationally from 2019. A number of hotels world wide have banned plastic straws already, including Four Points by Sherton in Brisbane, who have adopted straws and stirrers made from alternative materials.

The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London was one of 60 hotels in the UK to remove plastic straws in February 2018 and the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa became the first hotel in Hawaii to make the move away from plastic.

Just last week, Starbucks promised to eliminate plastic straws from its 28,000 stores world wide by 2020. Starbucks churns through nearly 1 billion straws each year and have invented 'strawless lids' to ensure their customers won't be inconvenienced by the change.

American Airlines also announced in June that it would no longer offer passengers plastic straws and swizzel sticks on their aircrafts or in their lounges.  The airline will instead use biodegradable straws and wooden stir sticks.

The growing global trend to go straw-free started back in 2015 when marine biologist Christine Figgener filmed her team removing a plastic straw from a sea turtle's nose.

Figgener spoke to Time on Monday where she said she was thrilled to see that a number of big companies were banning plastic straws.

“I’m of course happy,” Figgener said.

“But I don’t want the corporations to feel like they’re getting off easily just by eliminating plastic straws. I hope this is the first step.”

The ban on plastic has also reached Coles and Woolworths supermarkets in recent weeks, with both companies banning single-use plastic bags across all of their stores.  Customers must now purchase bags that can be used multiple times for a cost of between 15 and 99 cents.

The move to cut plastic is more important than ever, with research projecting that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Eliminating these quick convenience items from our lifestyles is becoming an important and growing trend, especially as the straws and other plastic items are resistant to degradation.