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McDonald’s intends to replace plastic toys in Happy Meals with those made of paper and bio-based materials by 2025. That’s certainly a start.

McDonald’s has been serving Happy Meals to kids around the globe for forty years now. These special boxed meals come with toys inside, which kids enjoy playing with. 

The problem is that these toys are made from cheap plastic and typically don’t last long — they usually end up in landfills before the next visit to the favorite fast-food chain.   

According to Treehugger, now the company has decided to replace plastic toys with those made of more eco-friendly materials. Their goal is to “keep the fun, protect the planet”  by making Happy Meal toys more sustainable by 2025. 

“These will take the form of pop-out paper figurines, board games made with plant-based or recycled game pieces, trading cards, paper coloring patterns, and toys made from bio-based materials. A press release states, "Making our toys out of renewable, recycled, or certified materials will result in about a 90% reduction of fossil fuel-based plastic in Happy Meal toys, from a baseline of 2018.”

That’s as if the whole population of Washington, DC eliminates plastic from their lives for a year. 

In McDonald’s, they know that this can work. In previous years, the company has been phasing out plastic toys in the UK, Ireland, and France, replacing them with plush toys, books, and paper-based toys. 

The decision to make Happy Meals more green is just one of many environmental challenges that McDonald’s (and many other fast-food chains) need to face. 

However, it’s good to know that the equivalent of 650,000 people won't be using plastics for a year. 

Nikola, an electrical engineer, simplifies intricate sustainability subjects for his audience. A staunch environmental conservationist, he embodies his beliefs daily through recycling and cultivating his own food.

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