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, - Posted on February 28, 2023

New McDonald's study attempts to water down EU ambition on reuse

Environment NGOs regret both short-sighted approach ignoring well researched solutions, and lack of substantiated data and transparency

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Brussels – Today, the fast-food corporation McDonald’s released the “No Silver Bullet” campaign, based on a study they commissioned about consumer-facing packaging in the European informal eating out (IEO) sector. Unsurprisingly, their study uses unclear data and assumptions to undermine the essential role that reusable products and systems have in solving the plastic pollution crisis. 


Break Free From Plastic members respond to McDonald’s efforts to perpetuate a throw-away economy and put profits over people and the planet:


Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, Deputy Policy Manager for Circular Economy at EEB, said: 

Without any transparency on the wild assumptions and the modeling behind the conclusions, it’s very hard to comment on their validity. While it’s presented as a robust study, today’s publication appears more like a position paper, rebranding business as usual as circularity. It seems like the only silver bullet for McDonald’s is to pass the blame onto consumers and municipalities for their unsustainable levels of single-use packaging waste. We invite McDonalds and Kearney to share their analysis to live up to their wish for a “fact based dialogue amongst stakeholders”


Nathan Dufour, Coordinator of the ReuSe Vanguard Project at Zero Waste Europe said: 

Today, there is consensus that the right question to focus on is 'HOW' we make reuse happen and not 'IF'. Packaging waste levels are skyrocketing in Europe and globally. It is widely accepted that business as usual - be it in the HORECA, e-commerce or beverage sectors - is not acceptable and that reuse systems are a critical tool to drastically cut on the packaging waste generation and its associated pollution. Efficient, affordable and convenient reusable packaging systems need the development of a shared infrastructure model backed by strong legislation. This is a great time for McDonalds to be part of the future and team up with others for the good of the planet”. 


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