Schoolgirl's petition convinces McDonald's to swap plastic Happy Meal toys with fruit | Totally Vegan Buzz

Schoolgirl’s petition convinces McDonald’s to swap plastic Happy Meal toys with fruit

Schoolgirl's petition convinces McDonald's to swap plastic Happy Meal toys with fruit
Image: Rachael Wood on

A petition by two schoolgirls has convinced McDonald’s to introduce a new scheme where kids can swap out their plastic Happy Meal toy for a fruit bag. 

The initiative will be trialled in selected UK stores next month in a bid to improve the fast food giant’s environmental impact.

Nine-year-old Ella McEwan and her younger sister Caitlin demanded Burger King and McDonald’s stop giving out plastic toys with a petition which has attracted more than 500,000 signatures. 

“We’ve been learning all about the environment at school and the problem of plastic. It made us very sad to see how plastic harms wildlife and pollutes the ocean, and we want to change this,” they said.

“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. 

“We want anything they give to us to be sustainable so we can protect the planet for us and for future generations.”


Burger King has already pledged to remove plastic from kids meals, but McDonald’s has come under fire for replacing the Happy Meal toys with fruit in plastic bags.

The company said at the moment an alternative to plastic bags is not available, but it is reviewing the use of plastic as it aims for all packaging to be “renewable, recycled, or certified sources” by 2025. 

Paul Pomroy, the CEO of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said in a statement: “We recognise that some people may not want a plastic Happy Meal toy, but we also know that the gifts provide fun for many families and children.

“That’s why we’ll be running these trials, in order to give our customers a choice; they also can choose not to have a toy or gift at all.”

What else could McDonald’s do to improve its environmental impact? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Published by Oli Gross

Oli’s career and personal ethical values both help shape his reporting of the diverse world of veganism. His background is in local newspaper and magazine journalism, and his work has included reporting court cases, celebrity interviews, business analysis, food and drink features and government legislation.



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