Weren’t we all told that companies switching from plastic to paper straws was a move done in the interest of protecting the environment and cutting down on single-use plastics? Whoops!
The BBC has reported that fast food giant McDonald’s has apparently admitted — according to an internal McDonald’s memo, reported on by The Sun — that the newer paper straws they use in the U.K. and Ireland are NOT recyclable.
The ironic part? The formerly used plastic straws were 100 percent recyclable.
Supposedly, the problem with the paper straws not being able to be recycled stems from McDonald’s having to thicken the paper they used for the straws because of customer complaints that straws were too flimsy.
"As a result of customer feedback, we have strengthened our paper straws," a McDonald's spokesperson said, "so while the materials are recyclable, their current thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers, who also help us recycle our paper cups."
The Sun reported:
The paper straws have infuriated thousands of McDonald’s customers who claim they make milkshakes hard to drink and dissolve in cola.
The firm has admitted that its plastic straws were “100 per cent recyclable” but said it changed to paper because “more can be done.”[…]
McDonald’s pulled its plastic straws in September  and vowed to use paper ones in all its 1,361 branches across the UK and Ireland.
Until they can come up with a fix for the paper straws so they can be recycled, McDonald’s is suggesting to simply throw the straws away with the rest of the trash.
I guess being environmentally friendly is going to have to wait.