As You Sow Statement on McDonald’s Recycling Goal Announcement

Media Contact: Cyrus Nemati, (510) 735-8157
Expert Contacts: Conrad MacKerron, (510) 735-8140

Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president of As You Sow, made the following statement:

As You Sow congratulates McDonald’s Corp. on its industry-leading goal announced today to recycle all post-consumer packaging in all its restaurants by 2025. This action follows several years of dialogue by As You Sow with McDonald’s as well as quick service peers like YUM Brands, Dunkin’ Brands, and Chipotle asking for in-store packaging to be recycled or composted. 
As You Sow first filed a shareholder resolution with McDonald’s in 2012 urging the company to accelerate post-consumer recycling  goals. With this action McDonald’s has made a stronger commitment than its peers, and with a global scope. We are also pleased that the company is working to redesign packaging to reduce material volume and recapture more material value through recycling. We urge other brands to follow suit.
We appreciate that companies cannot implement these actions on their own.  As McDonald’s notes, recycling infrastructure, regulations, and consumer behaviors vary by city, region, and country and will require significant actions to optimize so that recycling actually occurs. Other quick service brands need to work with peers, municipalities and recyclers to find ways that more food packaging can be added into recycling streams and help finance stable materials end markets where needed.
We hope the company can achieve this goal before 2025, as fast food packaging and service ware has been identified as among the most commonly found waste on beaches worldwide, contributing to the tsunami of plastics entering our oceans.