Recently, British people are lit melancholy because the burger giant McDonald’s switched to paper straws in the UK after a customer campaign last year for environmental reasons. Yes! as their wish, the fast-food chain recently introduced white paper straws to replace red and yellow striped plastic ones in 1,361 McDonald’s restaurants across the country. But now, McDonald’s is being pressured by customers to get rid of their new paper straws amid complaints they are “soggy” and difficult to use. In the past week, more than 30,000(still increasing) people had signed a new petition to “Bring back McDonald’s plastic straws”.

McDonald's paper straw


Plastic straws and environmental pollution have been an often heard or repeated topic for years. The statistic shows that the world sips through 1 billion straws a day, the US gets through more than 500 million plastic drinking straws every 24 hours. Plastic straw consumption in other western countries with more environmental awareness also striking, eg, the UK at 8.5 billion per year, Germany at 4.8 billion, France at 3.2 billion….

plastic straw consumption in each country


Think about it, you use single-use straws for only 5~10 minutes to sip drinks, but they will last for thousands of years on our planet! Plastic straws are one of the leading contributors to ocean pollution, why? that’s because most plastic straws are too lightweight to recycle, and too small to separate, they mostly end up in landfills. It will take more than 500 years for a single straw to decompose. Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic go into our oceans, causing an extremely negative impact on wildlife. Fewer people will know that early in 2017 a whale died with 30 plastic bags in its stomach or that by 2050 there is predicted to be more plastic in the sea than there are fish.

Plastic pollution in the ocean


In recent years, with the awareness increase of environmental protection, millions of people called on the catering industry to ditch plastic straws. The Sum of Us petition call for McDonald’s to stop using plastic straws that pollute our oceans today.

McDonald’s uses millions of plastic straws every single day. Used for just a few seconds, then thrown away, many end up polluting our oceans.
If we can get McDonald’s to ditch its dirty habit we can stop millions of plastic straws clogging up our oceans and killing the animals that live in them.

There are many other petitions to ban plastic straws, the below one for example, with more than 100,000 supporters.



Under the pressure from environmentalists, catering giants like McDonald’s and Starbucks all announced that they will adopt more Eco-friendly paper straws as the alternative to plastic straws. Now McDonald’s do what it said.
But now! a number of customers disgruntled with the new paper straw, they voiced their grievances against the new straws on Twitter.
Though McDonald’s announced that their paper straws can soak in drinks for 30 minutes, many customers find the straw dissolved and destroyed before they finish their drinks.


Someone finds they had drunk the smushed straw together.

McDonald's paper straw hard for milkshake 1

McDonald's paper straw melt 4




Then some of them begin to miss the plastic straws and ask to bring back the plastic straws.

plastic straw

plastic straw2


More than 40,000 people sign a petition to Bring Back McDonald’s plastic straws.

bring back plastic straw



Someone is selling McDonald’s plastic straws on eBay for £1,000.



The seller says in the Product description:

 “Brilliant uncirculated brand new McDonald’s straw this is soon to become the stuff of legend, imagine your about 50 years older than you are now, telling your grandchildren how you got given plastic straws from McDonald’s and they will look up to you like god!
“And you will turn to them and laugh and say I’m no god, I was alive before the snowflake generation took over!”
Want to bring them back so you don’t have to spend money on my listing? Then sign the petition.”

Whiles the petition got much support, there are still plenty of people who have praised McDonald’s for its choice, and sniffed at the petition.


straw 1



Plastic straws suck because of environmental pollution, and paper straws suck because they dissolve in your mouth and your drink. So you may think “I need a new type of straw”.There are many different types of straws like stainless steel, bamboo, silicone, etc, but which straw is right for you? let’s make a comparison of different straw types.

Straw type Photo Positive Negative Use
Paper straw paper straw Eco-friendly
Dissolve in drinks,
makes your beverage taste like paper.
Silicone straw sililicone straw BPA-free, lead, and phosphate-free
Soft to chew on,
bendy, colorful
same material with a baby nipple
need to suck harder Reusable
Stainless steel straw Stainless steel straw Eco-friendly
BPA free
taste metallic, cold, hard metal scraped gum and tooth,
can’t chew on it
Stainless-Steel Straw With Silicone Tip Stainless-Steel Straw With Silicone Tip soft at the top, eliminate the scalding-lips issue and the fear of chipped teeth Reusable
Glass Straw Glass Straw BPA-free, eco-friendly, sustainable glass is a breakable material
hard, can’t bite on
not safe for kids or travel
Bamboo Straw 100% natural, biodegradable
mildew easily, take a longer time to dry Reusable

Hope the above column can give you some suggestions. For these people who still think plastic straw is better to use, I hope you can think more about the negative effect plastic straws have on the environment. We need time to find the best alternative to plastic straws, it might take longer, but it’s a good step, right?
What’s your opinion on McDonald’s switching to paper straws? and what’s the best alternative to plastic straws do you think?


About HB Silicone :
15 years of experience in CNC mold making and custom molded silicone products.
R&D Support (Custom products design, 3D files)
CNC tool mold design and process (Programming, mold making)
Silicone Molding Production (High Volume Production, Quality Control)

Customers who want to develop custom silicone products are welcome to contact us at :