McDonald’s may be getting a little less evil … maybe … I guess … if consumers really, really want it to. The fast food behemoth recently announced plans to swap out Styrofoam cups for paper ones at 2,000 of its stores. If customers respond well to drinking their bargain coffee out of greener vessels, the Golden Arches will start using paper cups at all of its 13,000+ restaurants.
In the stores where the paper cups are being used, customers who order a hot beverage will now get it in a double-walled fiber hot cup. McDonald’s will be looking at “consumer acceptance, operation impact, and overall importance.”
Styrofoam, or polysterene, is one of the most unsustainable forms of food packaging out there. The fast food container-of-choice isn’t recyclable, and it takes forever to biodegrade. Plus, Republican members of Congress love it, so you know it can’t be good. The worst part is that a lot of this environmentally degrading material winds up polluting the ocean, swirling around in places like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
It’s nice that McDonald’s is at least considering phasing in a slightly greener type of food packaging. But it would have been better if the fast food chain fully took the plunge into Styrofoam-free waters, instead of hanging it all on blah blah customer response. Now they can just blame you if they decide to keep polluting.