McDonald’s sets goal of recycling, 100% sustainable packaging by 2025

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McDonald’s announced Tuesday that it has set two ambitious environmental goals that it wants to achieve by 2025.

The fast food giant wants to have 100% of its customer packaging come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources and have recycling available in all its restaurants.

Currently, 50% of its guest packaging comes from sustainable sources and only 10% of its restaurants are recycling.

The company says it is making this move in response to customer demand and its desire to help reduce waste and have a positive community impact.

“Our customers have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue they would like us to address,” Francesca Debiase, McDonald’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer, said in a statement.

McDonald’s said it plans to work with local governments and environmental associations on better packaging designs, new recycling programs and employee and customer education plans to reach these goals.

Environmental groups that have worked with McDonald’s praised the announcement.

Experts say, not only would the world look a lot different but the recycling industry could add billions of dollars to the global economy. Wochit

“McDonald’s continues to raise the sustainability bar by setting ambitious goals and collaborating with partners across the value chain for maximum impact,” Tom Murray, vice president of corporate partnerships at the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement.

The nation’s largest restaurant company — which has faced criticism over the years on a wide variety of societal issues including childhood obesity, low wages and animal treatment — can have an oversize impact on changes in its industry.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates McDonald’s strong leadership in developing packaging and recycling solutions at a scale that can extend the life of our natural resources and push its industry toward more sustainable practices,” said Sheila Bonini, senior vice president, private sector engagement of the World Wildlife Fund.

Brian Yarbrough, an equity analyst with brokerage firm Edward Jones, said the news will give McDonald’s some publicity, but probably won’t impact profitability or earnings.

“It’s in the forefront of people’s minds right now — recycling, green. Obviously, it’s a positive development for them,” he said. “It won’t translate into much in same-store sales or profits.”

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