Macca’s officials have today announced the global burger behemoth will move to eliminate plastic cutlery in all restaurants Australia-wide before 2020 is up, in a move that further’s the company’s on-going shift away from single-use plastics.

McDonald’s Australia this morning confirmed that all plastic cutlery – including spoons, forks, and stirrers – will be phased out by the end of the year, in a move that will be simultaneously undertaken with the company’s previously-announced phase out of plastic straws.

The phase out, being undertaken across 2020, means some 500 million plastic straws across Australia will be removed from circulation annually. Additionally, plans now call for 585 tonnes of plastic cutlery per year to be phased out, bringing the total amount of plastic removal to around 860 tonnes per annum.

In a short statement issued to media this morning, McDonald’s Australia director of supply chain and sustainability Kylie Freedland stated ““We’re committed to being an industry leader in sustainable practices, ultimately using our scale for good to positively impact challenges facing the communities we operate in. By removing plastic straws and cutlery from McDonald’s restaurants, we are continuing to reduce our environmental footprint and will be removing more than 860 tonnes of plastic from our system.”

Like the straws, the plastic cutlery in McDonald’s stores is set to be replaced with recyclable, fibre-based alternatives. Claims from Macca’s officials assert that 85% of packaging used by McDonald’s in Australia is now fibre-based, which is a fairly impressive-sounding way of reminding everyone that most of their packaging was made from paper products already. But still, credit where it’s due.

McDonald’s did not confirm whether replacement cutlery will be sourced from the same materials their non-plastic straws are. The more sustainable straws have been trialled in select stores for the past handful of months ahead of a planned rollout throughout the remainder of this year.

Image: Getty Images / Jeff Greenberg