McDonald's has just announced a major upgrade to its Happy Meals, but the change doesn't have anything to do with food. The chain said that by 2025, the toys that come with its Happy Meal deals will be quite different than those you've known since the summer of 1979, the year the first Happy Meals were offered.
Don't worry, toys will still be available with the kid meal at Mickey D's, but they will be made with a lot less plastic than before.
According to Associated Press, McDonald's plans to "drastically" reduce the plastic in its Happy Meal toys. The company plans to reduce the use of "virgin" plastic by 90%, and is already working with toy companies on developing toys made with alternative materials. In the future, McDonald's Happy Meal toys, more than a billion of which are distributed each year, will be made using cardboard, plant-based materials, and recycled plastics. The company will also shift to safer, more sustainable plant-based dyes in their toy production.
This move will follow the chain's initiatives in other countries. In the United Kingdom, McDonald's Happy Meals all come with plush and paper-based toys or books, which mirrors the company's other sustainability efforts in the United States. For example, McDonald's has already begun to make the plastic trays used for in-store dining primarily out of recycled plastics.
This year, the chain also announced it would be removing the toxic PFAS from food packaging. These chemicals are known to be harmful to human health as well as to the environment. They are slated to be completely cut out of all McDonald's packaging by the year 2025, though many health experts are not satisfied with this timeline and have urged the company to move faster.
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