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MCDONALDS TO PHASE OUT STYROFOAM CUPS IN THE US

After environmental group pressures, McDonald’s in the US is looking at phasing out its polystyrene foam beverage cups and replacing them with a double-walled fiber hot cup.  They are currently testing the alternative cups in 2000 of their West Coast restaurants to access customer acceptance, operational impact and overall performance.  Styrofoam cups, which contain styrene, a petroleum base are not easily recycled as they break down into small indigestible pellets which animals perceive as food, resulting in the death of birds and fish.  In addition styrene has been listed as a possible carcinogen with a suggested link between occupational styrene exposure and an increased risk of leukemia and lymphoma.  These concerns have resulted in over 100 cities in the USA banning or restricting the use of polystyrene food packaging.  McDonald’s has a long history of using high levels of recycled content in most of their products with a robust recycling program for post-consumer waste in its restaurants. It’s 2011 Sustainability Scorecard reinforced its commitment to “mainstreaming sustainability for customers through the company’s actions and collaborations with suppliers, experts and the food industry as a whole.”

 
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Date: 17-19 May 2012
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