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McDonald’s effort to reduce plastic waste backfires as consumers are requesting coffee lids on their drinks to avoid using ‘flimsy’ paper straws

3 May 2019

mcdonalds
  • McDonald's has divided fans with the debut of their new eco-friendly straws
  • Consumers now using brand's coffee lids, made of plastic, to avoid using straws
  • Some have even compared using eco-friendly straws to 'sucking on a tampon' 
  • Over 42,000 people have signed a petition to bring the plastic straws back

Disgruntled UK consumers who are disappointed by McDonald's effort to reduce plastic waste have come up with a way around having to use paper straws.

More than 42,000 people have signed a petition to bring back plastic straws, complaining that the paper ones go soggy. But customers have devised an alternative in the meantime - using the brand's plastic coffee lids on their soft drinks.

People have shared the hack on social media, showing pictures of the lids firmly screwed on top of McDonald's regular drinking cups.

One user said she was inspired after her cousin was accidentally given a coffee lid on their drink by a new McDonald’s worker.

Pictured: McDonald's consumers are using the brand's plastic lids in order to avoid using their new paper straws, which have divided customers

Pictured: McDonald's consumers are using the brand's plastic lids in order to avoid using their new paper straws, which have divided customers

One user also shared the hack on social media suggesting to people to use the lids as an alternative to the paper straws. Pictured: the coffee lid

One user also shared the hack on social media suggesting to people to use the lids as an alternative to the paper straws. Pictured: the coffee lid

'I was thinking if you don’t rate a paper straw. Do this?' she said.

The coffee lids fit on all McDonald's cups, and are handed out to whoever requests them.

But consumers who try the trick are using even more plastic than they would by drinking from the old, discontinued straws.

But for some customers, using a plastic straw seems unimaginable. One Twitter user even called it the 'the biggest set back for consumer support for environmental issues.'

Another user suggesting using the plastic lids as replacement for the straws after their cousin was handed a coffee lid by accident. Pictured: a McDonald's coffee lid on a regular cup

Another user suggesting using the plastic lids as replacement for the straws after their cousin was handed a coffee lid by accident. Pictured: a McDonald's coffee lid on a regular cup

One disgruntled customer said they would not be drinking from the paper straws, going as far as calling them 'the biggest set back in consumer support for environmental issues'
One disgruntled customer said they would not be drinking from the paper straws, going as far as calling them 'the biggest set back in consumer support for environmental issues'

Nostalgia. One user mused that the kids from future generation will not know about the brand's plastic straws, adding the hashtag campaigning to bring back the plastic straws

'They completely ruin the experience of drinking everything,' the disappointed customer went on, 'I stopped eating paper when I was three. Not about to start again now.'

'Kids today will never know,' wrote another pro-plastic straw user, sharing a picture of the brand's old straw.

Some other exasperated Twitter users noted that the plastic straws fanatics needed to think of the 'bigger picture'.

'I know people are upset about Mc DOnald's having paper straws all all. But think how that dead turtle feels when it's got a plastic one wedged down its throat because you wanted to drink a f****** milkshake,' one wrote.

Twitter users have hit back at customers complaining about plastic straws and pleaded with them to think of the 'bigger picture'
Twitter users have hit back at customers complaining about plastic straws and pleaded with them to think of the 'bigger picture'

'Given the issues with our planet, the 'controversy' over the #mcdonalds paper straw is ridiculous. If it is causing you that much distress, a) don't buy it or b) use your mouth instead. I just tried doing this and it works,' wrote another.

Calling for the return of plastic straws, some customers have even suggested boycotting the fast-food provider until their demands are met.

Customer Martin Reed even created a petition demanding for McDonald's to bring back plastic straws which has received over 42,000 signatures.

A number of social media users have slammed those complaining about the new straws, arguing that they should drink straight from the cup if they're unhappy

A number of social media users have slammed those complaining about the new straws, arguing that they should drink straight from the cup if they're unhappy

A stream of social media users have blasted McDonald's paper straws claiming that they dissolve before a drink can be finished.

Writing on Twitter one person said: 'I agree with the plastic straws being scrapped, yet also agree with comments on the paper straws being useless for milkshakes, which is the only drink I get from McDonald's. The paper straws collapse before your halfway through the drink'

Another wrote: 'All for McDonald's paper straws but they could make them a bit stronger yano, act like a *** bath bomb in my coke'

A third added: 'PurpleDon2973 this is what I was telling you about the other day! I couldn't drink my shake at all, the straw dissolved before the shake was melted enough to suck! @McDonaldsUK'

McDonald's first revealed that they would be changing their straws to meet demands from environmentally conscious customers last June (file image)

McDonald's has divided British customers after swapping plastic straws for paper in a number of branches.

The fast-food chain is gradually making the switch from plastic to paper in across their 1,361 restaurants in the UK and Ireland after facing pressure from environmentalists to become more eco-friendly.

Following the news of the petition many people have taken to the online platform to slam those who are campaigning for the return of plastic.

Customers across the UK and Ireland have slammed McDonald's decision to swap plastic straws for an eco-friendly paper alternative

Customers across the UK and Ireland have slammed McDonald's decision to swap plastic straws for an eco-friendly paper alternative

A user speaking under the handle 'Gigglechops74' declared that those asking for the return of plastic show a lack of care about the environment.

She wrote: 'People are being blown up stabbed + murdered but McDonald's fans have more important problems... hating paper straws + wanting plastic ones back which damage environment + kill nature... but as long as your pathetic issues are addressed huh? This world is doomed!'

Another said: 'Absolutely loving how much everyone is starting to care about the environment, but then there's those ***** that are signing petitions for McDonald's to bring back plastic straws, just drink from the cup if you don't want to use a paper straw?'

Chief executive of McDonald's UK and Ireland Paul Pomroy, previously revealed that the restaurant's decision to introduce paper straws is the result of requests from customers.

Speaking in June last year he said: 'Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws but to do so without compromising their overall experience when visiting our restaurants.

Over the past few months we've been working closely with supplier partners to find a solution that works both for our customers, and that the supply is there given the size of our business.'

A representative of McDonald's UK replied to a number of social media users who've voiced their hate of the paper straws revealing that the restaurant is working on an alternative.

'...We completely understand your concerns and can reassure you that whilst paper straws will be introduced to all restaurants, we'll be working on retaining an alternative option for those that require one.'

A spokesperson for McDonald's told Mail Online: 'Our suppliers have made us paper straws that last at least 30 minutes in most, if not all liquids. They were introduced following customer feedback, and we are pleased to be doing the right thing in removing plastic from our restaurants and taking significant steps to reduce our environmental impact.'

Source: Daily Mail