McDonald's Told To Stop Putting Plastic Toys In Happy Meals
Growing up, many of us classed the Happy Meal as the ultimate treat - a burger, fries, drink and a small plastic toy that you would struggle to get out of its wrapping with your greasy little hands and then lose immediately in the car.
However, Environment Minister Therese Coffey has said McDonald's should stop including plastic toys in its Happy Meals in an attempt to cut down on plastic pollution.
Speaking during the Tory Party conference, Coffey said that the fast-food company should get rid of the toys, claiming that kids only play with them for minutes but that the plastic takes decades to break down.
She called on Maccies and other companies to make 'symbolic changes' to how they operate and prove that they're serious about cutting down on plastic waste.
Elsewhere in her speech she praised McDonald's for removing plastic straws from its restaurants.
A McDonald's spokesperson said: "The reduction and use of plastics is a hugely important issue - for our business, for the sector and for society.
"We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and we can, and want to, be part of the solution - for example with our move from recyclable plastic straws to paper.
"We know that our Happy Meal toys provide fun for children and families playing in our restaurants, but also provide many more fun-filled hours at home for a long time too.
"When families are finished playing with them, they can also be recycled. At points in the year we also offer book promotions swapping out toys for books.
"Parents can also use the vouchers printed on their child's Happy Meal box to purchase a book for £1 or download an eBook for free."
A number of companies have already announced robust plans to cut down on single-use plastics, including supermarket Iceland which has committed to removing all plastic from its own brand products by 2023.
Iceland Managing Director Richard Walker said in a statement: "Making this change is going to cost money but we are determined that our customers will not have to foot the bill.
"Obviously we hope that more people will choose to shop at Iceland as a result of our decision, but we're not trying to steal a march on our competitors.
"We genuinely hope that they will follow our example - and soon - and we are happy to collaborate with them to make this a reality."
Nicely done, Iceland.
Featured Image Credit: PA