Another company that is prioritising the environment as one of its core goals is McDonald’s. In the past few years, McDonald’s UK has transformed itself from being simply a fast food restaurant into being an impactful member of local communities.  They sponsor many community groups and events such as local football teams and various charities together.  They also play a huge part in raising awareness of the health and environmental aspects of its products and services.

Our local McDonald’s is part of a franchise known as ESJ Restaurant’s LTD. The owner, Elliot Jardine has eight McDonald’s stores in areas such as Falkirk, Stirling and Edinburgh. We were kindly given permission to speak with Laura Doherty who is the community manager for ESJ Restaurants and gave us some insightful information about how McDonald’s aim to reduce plastics by 2025.

Scale For Good

McDonald’s launched a program this year (2019) which is called Scale for Good. It’s a global program with the aim of changing perceptions of the McDonald’s brand.

They plan to use their size and ability to influence positive changes using their scale as a beneficial force, working together with customers, employees, franchisees, suppliers and other partners to influence actions within their business network and beyond on some of the most pressing environmental changes in the world today.

Not only does the program drive their brands trust and sales within their communities, but also make a difference worldwide. The five areas where Scale for Good can make a difference are;

Beef Sustainability, Packaging and Recycling, Families, Youth Employability and Climate Action.

The two that we are planning to educate companies on are Packaging and Recycling and Climate Action.

We discussed the plans for McDonald’s climate action, and Laura shared that

Climate Action

to McDonald’s it’s critical to remain transparent by measuring and reporting their progress. McDonald’s keep themselves aligned with the science of the Paris Agreement, to keep global temperature increase below 2°Celsius.

At the beginning of the year, McDonald’s celebrated a record by becoming the first restaurant company to set a Science Based Target, which was to have an absolute reduction of 36% from their current emissions in offices and restaurants and a 31%/tonne of food and packing reduction in supply chain.

Packaging and Recycling

Laura then outlined McDonald’s focus and action with respect to packaging and recycling.  She explained it is the number one issue that customers ask them to address. McDonald’s are committed to being clear and transparent about how they address it. This is a work in progress with a success already been seen with more and more restaurants ditching the traditional plastic straws for paper straws. By 2025, McDonald’s have set themselves three goals:

  • Recycling in 100% of restaurants
  • 100% packaging from renewable and/or recycled material
  • 100% recyclable packaging

They aim to achieve these goals by using less packaging, sourced more responsibly and it’s design will also factor in how is can be recycled/disposed of after it’s served its use.

Packaging and Rec Icon

They look to drive innovation in the recycling sector and reimagine waste and transform it into resource. Thirdly, they want to improve their consumers awareness in order to increase recycling in their restaurants and local communities.


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