Fewer sucking sounds heard on Mondays

Local | Amy Nip 4 Sep 2018

McDonald's has launched a "no straw Monday" campaign, encouraging people to stop sucking through plastic.

Customers will no longer find plastic straws being offered on a Monday. But if someone asks for a straw staff will still provide one.

The move comes after KFC announced in July that it would stop offering plastic straws and lids.

"Hong Kong McDonald's has always attached importance to promoting sustainability" was one follow-up response. "We have carried out green measures to respond to calls for environmental friendliness."

So the no-straw Monday is now off and running at all McDonald's and McCafe outlets. And if all goes well the chain will look at expanding the war on waste in the more than 230 outlets in Hong Kong.

But a spokeswoman could not provide an estimate on how many straws are being used in those outlets.

From this month McDonald's is replacing plastic straws with paper ones in all of its outlets in Britain and Ireland. The chain provides 1.8 million straws daily there. A total switch to paper straws will be completed next year.

This no-straw push took off in Hong Kong this year with the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation teaming up with more than 830 restaurants and schools. Twenty major eatery chains, including Cafe de Coral, Tai Hing Catering, KFC and Yoshinoya, are among participants.

Last month saw KFC discontinuing the use of plastic straws and lids for drinks at its 71 stores in Hong Kong and Macau.

But that measure is limited to dine-in customers. Straws and lids are continuing to be provided for takeaways and certain specialty drinks.

The annual consumption of plastic straws in Hong Kong is projected to fall by 2.6 million this year in comparison to 2017. Even so, Hong Kong residents and visitors still use 1.44 billion plastic straws annually.

Among other evils, plastic waste is blamed for threatening Hong Kong's marine environment.

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