Asia Self-Regulation

McDonald’s India Kicks Out Plastics

Master Franchisee Hardcastle Restaurants has already moved away from plastic in Maharashtra and Karnataka. A market-wide change will follow over the coming months.

McDonald’s now gives customers wooden cutlery which includes spoons, stirrers, knives, and forks instead of plastic ones.

Plastic cups have been replaced by superior quality paper cups. The straws are either made of paper or other biodegradable bioplastics made from corn starch.

Hardcastle Restaurants is also working on alternative solutions for its delivery segment.

These decisions should be seen as the result of plastic bans in Indian cities.

Ranjit Paliath, Senior Vice President, Business Operations & Restaurant Enablement at Hardcastle Restaurants made the following statement.

“As the leader in the Quick Service Restaurant space in India, we are committed to using our scale for good and working towards finding sustainable solutions across our business. This is in line with McDonald’s global vision of building a responsible business.”

Closing Remarks

On one hand, India is not a priority for many Bioplastics companies. On the other hand, India has ignored its environmental problems for a very long time but this is over. India is waking up and may well become the next sustainability champion.

The substitution of plastic cutlery with wooden cutlery and the replacement of plastic straws and cups with paper items  mean 2 things:

  • the disruption of the traditional plastic industry is a reality; and
  • the incapacity of the bio-based plastics sector to be perceived as a sustainable alternative to fossil plastics.

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