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.