McDonald’s to Replace Foam with Paper Cups


Shareholder advocacy organization, As You Sow, McDonald’s Corp. recently confirmed that it is taking a major step toward possible phase-out of polystyrene foam beverage cups.

The company recently notified As You Sow that: “McDonald’s is currently testing a double-walled fiber hot cup, as the company continues to seek more environmentally sustainable solutions. The test is in approximately 2,000 restaurants in the U.S., primarily on the West Coast. The objective of this test is to assess customer acceptance, operational impact and overall performance.”

2,000 restaurants represent nearly 15% of McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. The shareholder proposal, which asked the company to assess the environmental impacts of different kinds of beverage containers and to develop packaging recycling goals, received the support of nearly 30% of total company shares voted, a high result for an environmental issue proposal, and the highest vote to date for any As You Sow proposal on container recycling.

“This is a great first step for McDonald’s and we hope it will lead to a permanent switch to paper cups in all of its restaurants,” said Conrad MacKerron, As You Sow’s Senior Program Director. “Given the company’s history of using high levels of recycled content in other food packaging, we hope that it follows suit with its cups, and also establishes a robust recycling program for post-consumer waste left in its restaurants.”

Posted by Suzanna