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Sisters’ petition pushes Burger King to remove plastic toys

Thanks to a petition by two sisters, Burger King are set to remove all plastic toys from their meals, while McDonald’s will be making their classic ‘Happy Meal’ toys optional.

As more and more of us demand sustainable service and meat-free foods, outlets are having to respond. We’ve seen fast food companies start to embrace veganism and take some environmental responsibility, from removing plastic packaging to introducing vegan alternatives to menus. Never has that been clearer than with Burger King’s latest move – that only came about thanks to two primary school sisters.

Burger King will be removing all plastic toys from packaged meals, a move that will save over 320 tonnes of waste a year. McDonald’s will also be making ‘Happy Meal’ toys optional, with fruit bags or books available as alternative choices. It’s certainly commendable, but I have doubts about how many children will be asking for fruit instead of toys. Come on McDonald’s – let’s see that plastic gone.

The initiative was spurred on by Ella and Caitlin, aged 9 and 7, who started a petition online urging Burger King to stop offering plastic toys that ‘children only play with for a few minutes’. They felt inspired to create the petition after learning about plastic pollution at school.

‘It made us very sad to see how plastic harms wildlife and pollutes the ocean’, they wrote in their petition. ‘We want anything given to us to be sustainable so we can protect the planet for us and future generations’. Very well said.

Burger King aren’t just getting rid of their own plastic toys, either. You can also bring in your unwanted toys from other competitors between the 19th and 30th September and the company will recycle them. You can watch the promotional video below.

I don’t have to be the first to tell you that wastage is a huge problem for our oceans and wildlife.

According to the UN, about 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the seas annually, causing damage to precious coral reefs and strangling marine life. While Burger King’s actions may seem like a small drop in the ocean (no pun intended), 320 tonnes will make a difference and, more importantly, may cause a knock-on effect that pushes other companies into taking action.

Big props to Ella and Caitlin, who’ve used their voices to create real change in an industry that’s only just starting to get on board with sustainable movements. If you’ve got an issue you want to see tackled, you can make your own petition on the Change website, or sign up for ones made by others.