Supersize My Landfill: McDonald’s Shareholders to Keep Plastic Straws

© AP Photo / Manish SwarupPeople sit near a McDonalds at a mall in New Delhi, India (File)
People sit near a McDonalds at a mall in New Delhi, India (File) - Sputnik International
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On Thursday, McDonald’s shareholders rejected a proposal backed by a US consumer advocacy group that would have required the fast food giant to prepare a report outlining the ecological risk to the environment of single-use plastic straws.

According to consumer advocacy group SumOfUs, about 95 million McDonald's single-use straws end up in the trash globally every day. 

McDonald's fast food restaurant. (File) - Sputnik International
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"The problem with plastic is that it never disappears. It breaks into smaller and smaller pieces," marine biologist and SumOfUs member Elaine Leung explained at a McDonald's annual meeting last week.

"Although many of you may see plastic straws as a harmless little item, they soon add up and their size means they pose a particular hazard," she observed.

Almost half a million people signed the advocacy group's online petition encouraging McDonald's to help establish the corporate precedent of eliminating the use of plastic straws.

"We continue to work to find a more sustainable solution for plastic straws globally," according to a McDonald's corporate statement.

"In the meantime, we have adopted compostable straws in certain markets to meet regulations," the statement added, noting that some cities and counties — recognizing that corporate environmental responsibility may never happen without legislation to force the issue — have outlawed single-use plastic items.

McDonald restaurants in the UK are increasingly using paper straws instead of plastic, only providing plastic straws to consumers on request.

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