Fast food chains McDonald’s and Burger King hand out plastic toys with their meals, a practice that has not gone down too well with two little girls from the UK. A Change.org petition initiated by the two sisters – Ella McEwan, nine, and Caitlin, seven – from Southampton, UK, has already gathered over 300,000 signatures and asks the fast food giants to stop giving out plastic toys.
“We like to go to eat at Burger King and McDonald’s, but children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea,” their petition says. “We want anything they give to us to be sustainable so we can protect the planet for us and for future generations.”
After the girls launched the petition, BBC One began airing the series War on Plastic. In one episode, co-host Anita Rani visits a recycling facility in East London, where she learns that toys are one of the biggest problems because the facility can’t recycle them. Looking at a towering mound of toys pulled from the line over the past 24 hours, Rani spots numerous free toys from McDonald’s, including one still in protective wrap.
McDonald’s UK tweeted an apology and issued a public statement.
“We absolutely agree with Ella and Caitlin in recognizing that the reduction and use of plastics is an important issue, and we are committed to reducing plastic across our business, including Happy Meal toys,” the company said. “The joy that many families get from our Happy Meal toys isn’t something that we can ignore and any changes to that have to be planned through carefully.”
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