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McDonald's Makes Recycling Push In Latest Bid To Burnish Image

By Dave Simpson

McDonald’s Corp. is embracing recycling and will start using more environmentally friendly packaging as consumers gravitate toward brands perceived to be good corporate citizens.

The world’s largest restaurant chain, which has moved to using cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free chicken, is setting the goal of recycling customer trash at all of its restaurants across the globe by 2025. Only an estimated 10% of the chain’s roughly 37,000 locations offer recycling today.

Packaging for items like bags, soda cups and boxes for burgers will also be more environmentally friendly by 2025, meaning the materials will be “recycled, renewable or certified” by third-parties organisations that track deforestation, according to Francesca DeBiase, the company’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer. McDonald’s is currently about halfway toward that goal, she said.

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“Customers have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue we should address,” she said.

Under Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook, who took over in March of 2015, McDonald’s has succeeded in luring diners back into its restaurants. He’s achieved this by offering all-day breakfast and fine-tuning value offerings. The chain has also embraced digital ordering and taken measures to improve the food’s taste.

McDonald’s shares surged 41% last year, marking a third straight annual gain. The stock rose 0.8% in the first two weeks of 2018, closing at $173.57 on January 12.

News by Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland

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