McDonald’s announces global ban of toxic chemicals in food packaging

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — International fast-food giant McDonald’s today announced a new global sustainable packaging commitment, banning the class of toxic chemicals per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from guest packaging materials. The company stated: “We’re proud to take another step in our product stewardship journey with our commitment to remove all added fluorinated compounds from our guest packaging materials globally by 2025.” The company also disclosed it has already eliminated BPA, BPS, and phthalates in its guest packaging.

This follows a national campaign led by the Mind the Store campaign and partners in key cities and states across the country after test results indicated the use of PFAS in packaging for the widely sold Big Mac.

McDonald’s is the largest fast-food chain in the world, serving an average of 25 million customers daily. With annual revenue of $21 billion in 2019, there are more than 38,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide.

“Because McDonald’s is the largest fast-food chain in the world, this action will help drive PFAS out of food packaging,” explains Mind the Store Campaign Director Mike Schade. “Over the last year, tens of thousands of McDonald’s customers have raised their voices calling on the company to act on this. We appreciate McDonald’s taking this important action and heeding our call. However, four years is far too long for their customers and frontline communities to continue to be polluted by these unnecessary forever chemicals. We urge McDonald’s to phase these chemicals out by 2022 and ensure substitutes are safe and reusable. Other major fast-food chains like Burger King and Wendy’s should join them in driving PFAS out of food packaging.”



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