NEW YORK: McDonald's said today it will switch to paper straws at all its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and test an alternative to plastic ones in some of its U.S. restaurants later this year.
The burger chain and other fast-food companies have been facing increasing pressure from customers and environmental activists to stop using plastic straws because they can end up in the ocean and harm sea turtles, birds and other marine life.
Paper straws, unlike plastic ones, disintegrate in the environment.
McDonald's Corp. declined to say what type of straw it would test in the U.S., only saying that it would be a "sustainable solution."
It has more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants, compared to about 1,360 in the U.K. and Ireland.
The company will begin to phase out plastic straws at its restaurants in the U.K. and Ireland in September and complete the change next year.
It also plans to test alternatives to plastic straws in its restaurants in France, Sweden and Norway.