McDonald’s Is ‘Drastically’ Changing Happy Meals Toys

by Taylor Cunningham

McDonald’s is about to get a lot more earth-friendly. The fast-food giant is aiming to reduce its plastic waste by 90% within the next four years. And because it sells around 5,000 Happy Meals every minute, the company is working on ways to phase out its plastic toys.

As anyone who was ever a kid knows, each McDonald’s Happy Meal comes with a plastic figurine. And since restaurants sell millions of those little red boxes each day, we can assume those toys are taking up a lot of space in our landfills. So the burger joint is hashing out a plan to change that. 

Yesterday, McDonald’s announced its sustainable intentions on Twitter.

“By the end of 2025, every toy in every McDonald’s #HappyMeal sold around the [world] will be made from more #sustainable materials,” read the caption. “We’re innovating to create #ToysOfTheFuture from more renewable, recycled or certified materials!”

McDonald’s is making its new line of toys out of recycled cardboard and plant-based materials. The franchise has already fashioned a plush Batman out of plant-based fabric, an alligator figurine out of a plastic alternative, and a foldable Joker out of cardboard. A few European countries are already seeing the sustainable toys in their Happy Meals, but McDonald’s hasn’t made any changes in the US.

Not only will the new initiative keep plastic out of the trash, it will also help curb air pollution. As McDonald’s Chief Sustainability Officer Jenny McColloch explained in a video, producing plastic can be a harmful process. 

“Virgin fossil fuels plastic means it can cause pollution. So what we’re doing is helping to shift to materials that are reusable materials or are grown from plants. And that way, we can reduce pollution and help the planet,” she said in a video released by the company. 

McDonald’s Is Releasing a Meat-Free Burger

McDonald’s is slowly but surely revamping its image and menu by offering healthier food and more sustainable products. And in that spirit, the Golden Arches will soon be selling a meat-free burger

“McPlant – a delicious plant-based burger crafted for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s, and with the kind of craveable McDonald’s flavor our customers love,” wrote corporate headquarters in a blog post. “In fact, we think our culinary team nailed it.” 

McDonald’s partnered with Beyond Meat to create pea and rice protein patties that will soon be available throughout the country. The McPlants are still in testing phases in Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Sweden. But the burger should be available in a drive-thru near you in 2022.