McDonald’s Is Giving Its Plastic Happy Meal Toys an Eco-Friendly Makeover

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"McDonald's is giving its iconic plastic Happy Meal toys an eco-friendly makeover. Here's how the move will drastically reduce waste."

McDonald’s has been making some sustainable moves lately. First, it launched a program in the United Kingdom to test out reusable cups. Then, it started trialing its fully vegan McPlant Burger in England, which features a Beyond Meat patty. Now, it’s working on making its plastic Happy Meal toys more eco-friendly in order to reduce waste worldwide.

According to a press release, the fast food chain will “drastically reduce plastics and offer sustainable Happy Meal toys globally by the end of 2025” in order to protect the environment for the next generation.

“Transitioning to more renewable, recycled, and certified materials for our Happy Meal toys will result in an approximately 90% reduction in virgin fossil fuel-based plastic use against a 2018 baseline,” said Jenny McColloch, McDonald’s chief sustainability officer. “For comparison, the average person uses more than 220 pounds of plastic annually, so this is equivalent to more than 650,000 individuals eliminating plastics from their lives each year.”

The Eco Generation of Happy Meal Toys

mcdonald's sustainable happy meal toys
Photo: McDonald’s

So, what will the next generation of Happy Meal toys look like? McDonald’s is working with families, play experts, and engineers to come up with eco-friendly designs that are still just as fun—if not more so—than the originals. Instead of plastic figurines, for instance, that could look like 3D toys kiddos can build themselves.

Aside from giving its toys an eco-friendly makeover, the chain has also improved its packaging. According to the release, 99.6% of “all primary fiber-based guest packaging—including paper bags, food wrappers, napkins, and cup carriers—come from recycled or certified sources.” Hopefully other chains begin to follow suit.


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McDonald's is giving its iconic plastic Happy Meal toys an eco-friendly makeover. Here's how the move will drastically reduce waste.

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