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The Better McDonald’s Berlin Store Gives The Company Food For Thought

August 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
In June this year, McDonald’s opened a concept store for 10 days in Berlin aimed at exploring plastic-free options, eliciting customer feedback and starting debate. The Better McDonald’s Store offered paper straws and wooden cutlery, and edible waffle cups for condiments, wrapped sandwiches in grass-based packaging, and presented Chicken McNuggets in paper bags instead of cardboard boxes. The company said that the response was “very positive”, the grass wrapper was a “hit in terms of eco-friendliness and ease of use”, and the waffle cups were seen as a good way of replacing condiment sachets and containers. Customers were happy with the eco-friendliness of the paper straws, but less so about their ease of use and durability, and believed they wouldn’t miss lids on containers. The wooden cutlery experiment wasn’t a hit. 

McDonald’s also said that it is working on other options in its normal restaurants. In Germany, in-house hot drinks are served in porcelain or glass mugs, and McCafé locations in Germany invite customers to bring their own cups in exchange for a 10 cent discount. Selected restaurants in Germany are running a 1 euro deposit system (ReCup) for reusable carry out cups. In the UK, McDonald’s will no longer sell McFlurry products with plastic lids and it is removing single-use plastic from salads, using 100% renewable and recyclable cardboard containers instead. In Canada, the restaurants are using smaller napkins, made from 100% recycled fiber, and switching McWrap® cartons to McWrap wraps. [Image Credit: © McDonald's Corporation]
"What we learned from Berlin’s plastic-free McDonald’s experiment", McDonald’s, August 28, 2019, © McDonald's Corporation
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