MCDONALD'S SHOULD DITCH PLASTIC LIDS & STRAWS
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First, I want to start by saying that I'm aware McDonald's Corp. has a plan of action to recycle in all stores by 2025 (Thank you!). I understand that recycling is a systemic, operational issue, full of logistics when implemented on this scale- and will take a long while. This is why I think the solution of biodegradable cup lids are a solution that can be utilized right away, and should be.
Plastic. It's killing the ocean, pure and simple. A google search will provide you with more information that you can possibly ingest in the meager time you have and I'm sure you are aware of it. As the Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer, you've done an amazing job of organizing a recycling plan. While sipping a hot drink at a hotel chain recently, I looked down and noticed the lid. And it spawned this idea. I was surprised that the concept of the use of hot drink lids on cold drinks hasn't been considered.
You may be aware of a product called Ecolid. I'm sure it is one of several viable alternatives to the typical plastic lid. What may not have been considered is that it is also a viable alternative to the plastic straw. In the case of both hot and cold drinks, with the possible exception of milkshakes, the renewable, compostable EcoLid® is all you need. This lid, or another like it could drastically cut down on plastic waste, as well as fulfilling three inventory product purchases with one product (hot drink/cold drink lids and straws), reducing cost of operation as well as reducing waste in several areas besides recycling. In addition, if someone really needs a straw, one can be inserted in the opening on the lid.
Due to the sheer size of McDonalds, your company should be able to manage a price point on these lids that makes them profitable to use, especially when you factor in the drastic reduction in straws and lids purchased and used. Your example of using such a lid could signal a benchmark to other restaurant chains. They degrade, so no matter what consumers do with them, they will eventually go away. That is the goal- to reduce plastic waste. I think the Ecolid is a viable solution. There is another material being utilized in six-pack rings that is edible by sea creatures in the event it makes its way to the ocean. It's another option.
I am asking you to consider it, and more than that: I am asking you to figure out how to make it work. McDonalds has considerable buying power, and can make a huge difference based on the sheer number of drinks purchased by customers on any given day. If the numbers don't work at first glance, please figure out how to make them work. Negotiate, use leverage. I don't work for that company, and have nothing to gain except a happier ocean. If there is another lid that does the same job and is more feasible to use, I'm for that too.
Together, McDonalds and its customers can make a difference. The ocean can't wait 7 years.
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