McDonald’s Is Moving to Green Plastic Toys in Happy Meals. Is it the Beginning of the End for Petroleum Based Toys?

“Making our toys out of renewable, recycled, or certified materials will result in about a 90% reduction of fossil fuel based plastic in Happy Meal toys, from a baseline of 2018. For perspective, that’s more or less the size of the entire population of Washington, DC, eliminating plastics from their lives for a year.” – McDonald’s

Keep the Fun, Protect the Planet: Happy Meal Toys Go More Sustainable

In terms of units, McDonald’s is the world’s biggest toy manufacturer by a magnitude. Each Happy Meal version sells in the billions. That is why the company’s decision to move to corn-based plastics is so significant.

To this point, eco-plastics have been a nice idea but lacking in the look and feel of the petroleum-based product. McDonald’s is by moving to green plastics, essentially creating a new industry that will be big enough to develop plastics that are not just green but malleable and colorful.

Based upon McDonald’s sheer scale, they may be introducing a whole new era for the world’s farmers, toy companies, and families.

2 thoughts

  1. Large corporations get a lot of criticism, but can also do a lot of good. This reminds me of Walmart using its power back in the ‘80’s to get rid of the boxes that stick deodorants came in (now how about we get rid of the plastic for those products & replace it with recycled cardboard?).

    This is a great article – how do we tweet it from this page? Your tweet doesn’t have hashtags, why not use them to help people find your article on Twitter?

  2. Nice move that will save the planet the effects of extracting and manufacturing tonnes of fossil fuel based plastic.

    Nevertheless, there is still the issue of waste. How long do children play with their Happy Meal toys? With honourable exceptions, my sons moved on in less than 24 hours (I’m being generous here… it’s more like 1 hour). Any plan to avoid all these toys polluting land and water?

    Including toys in Happy Meals is economically justifiable. But, is it justifiable in terms of environmental impact? Hum… Short term versus long term. Private profit versus the common good.

    Couldn’t we give children tokens to exchange for experiences in local parks or businesses?

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