The announcement of the measure comes following a highly-publicised petition led by two schoolgirls calling on the fast food chain to cut plastic from its Happy Meals, which are geared towards children and contain a small toy.
In a press release, the company stated that from 2021, every Happy Meal in the UK will include either a soft toy, a paper-based toy or a book, as opposed to a toy made from non-sustainable hard plastic.
The firm claims that this measure will remove more than 3,000 metric tons of plastic from its business.
Furthermore, McDonald’s states the removal of plastic from its Happy Meals marks the biggest reduction of plastic by McDonald’s UK and Ireland to date.
“We care passionately about the environment and are committed to reducing plastic across our business including within our Happy Meal,” said Gareth Helm, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of McDonald’s UK and Ireland.
“Families have high expectations of us and we’re working as hard as we can to give them the confidence that their Happy Meal is as sustainable as possible.
“Getting that right is a big responsibility, but we believe the changes we’re making today have the potential to make a big difference.”