McDonald’s is to trial paper straws in some UK restaurants from May in a bid to reduce its environmental impact.
The company will also move its straws to behind the counter after customers told the fast food giant that they wanted to have to ask for them.
McDonald’s UK chief executive Paul Pomroy 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. Our straws are already 100% recyclable, but we know more can be done.”
Mr Pomroy said McDonald’s had installed recycling units in more than 1,000 of its UK restaurants since 2015 to help customers and employees easily separate packaging.
Increasing numbers of businesses are removing plastic drinking straws from their operations as efforts to stem the “tide” of plastic waste gather pace.
Marriott International, London City Airport and Eurostar are among the latest companies announcing measures to remove single-use plastic straws from hotels, food and drink outlets and train carriages.
They join chains including All Bar One, JD Wetherspoon, Costa Coffee, Pizza Express and Wagamama in phasing out the throwaway items from their venues, with many offering biodegradable alternatives.
Iceland has ended sales of own-brand plastic straws while organisations as varied as the Scotch Whisky Association and the Natural History Museum have also rejected their use.
The moves come amid increasing calls from environmentalists for businesses to “ditch” plastic straws, which can harm marine wildlife such as turtles and fish.
An online campaign, Refuse The Straw, calls on people to reject straws and start drinking from the glass.