We’re always working to become more sustainable

We want the best for the environment. To us that means constantly challenging ourselves to find ways in which we can use our scale and our people, to influence and drive change. By rethinking, reducing and recycling, we’re minimising the impact we have on the environment. We’ve made big progress so far, but we know there’s lots more to do.

Keeping the UK tidy

Like you, we don’t like litter. Since 1982, we’ve been collecting the litter that’s dropped in the local area around our restaurants. Our litter patrols and clean-up events walk around 150,000 miles a year, keeping the UK litter free.

To try to stop litter before it happens we also support charities like Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful with their interventions and education to persuade people to bin their rubbish and recycle and our restaurant teams participate in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean.


Making recycling simpler

Recycling shouldn’t be a chore. That’s why we’ve tried to make it easier for you. Since 2015 we’ve installed recycling units in over 1,000 of our UK restaurants, so it’s easier to separate your paper cups and plastics for recycling. Our paper cups are sent to specialist recycling centres in the UK who make different recycled products from the fibre and plastic lining.

Find out more about the work we do through the National Cup Recycling Scheme.


Being smarter with deliveries

Once we’ve cooked your meals, we don’t waste the oil. Our entire UK delivery fleet runs on biodiesel with almost half of that biodiesel coming from our used cooking oil. It’s even made at a plant powered by some of our food waste. Using this biodiesel creates 6,900 fewer tonnes of CO2 than low sulphur diesel.

And we’re trying to drive fewer miles. The trucks that deliver our food and packaging also take away our used cooking oil, cardboard and kitchen food waste. It makes sense and saves us 5,000 trips a year.

Ditching the landfill

We know there are much better ways to deal with rubbish than throwing it in a hole. That’s why we set ourselves a target of zero waste sent to landfill by 2020. Most of our restaurants actually reached it early, in 2017. They send their general waste to waste-to-energy power plants which reduces CO2 and the use of fossil fuels.

Rethinking our packaging

We realised that little changes to our packaging can make a big difference – our next upgrade is the McFlurry® lid. We’re moving away from non-recycled polystyrene plastic to a recyclable polyethylene lid which is made of 40% recycled content.

The paper and card we use is also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). That means it comes from sustainable sources.

Using less energy

Several of our new McDonald’s restaurants have 100% LED lighting – which uses 50% less energy than fluorescent lights. We’ve installed 120,000 across the UK.

Our new restaurants are built to use less power – from energy management systems that control our lights, heating and air conditioning, to energy-efficient kitchen equipment and motion sensitive lighting. And all these clever little changes really add up.

Discover more about our food

Did you know?

All the energy we buy to run our restaurants comes from renewable wind and solar power.

Our cups are looping the Loop

We know you care about the environment, but sometimes it’s not easy to be green. That’s why we’re trialling the Loop returnable cup platform in six restaurants in the Wellingborough and Northampton areas*. This unique new service conveniently helps you to reduce waste by purchasing your favourite McDonald’s hot drink in a returnable Loop cup for a deposit, which is refunded when you return the empty cup to a Loop collection point located inside or outside the pilot restaurants. The cups will then be sent to be washed and loop back round again. And you don’t have to remember to carry a cup around.

The cups are made from plastic as this is durable and easily cleaned, but the amount of plastic has been reduced by using recycled paper cups in the outer insulation layer. This not only saves material, but also gives the cups a unique look and feel, and keeps your favourite coffee nice and hot. At the end of their useful life, the cups can be recycled back into new cups. And keep on looping the Loop.

*Restaurant locations as follows:






·         9-13 THE DERRY, NORTHAMPTON, NN1 2ET