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March 19, 2020

Comments

Chris Heatherly

McDonald’s in making a mistake here. UK has a history of these moral panics driven by the sensationalism of their media. They generally flame out when the next supposed moral crisis comes along. Half a million signatures is a lot but do people really mean it? We have lots of examples these days of how online activism and reality do not align.

When I was at Disney, there was the child obesity panic and Disney decided to end Happy Meal promotions and imposed draconian restrictions on its food licensing, restrictions that the Parks refused to comply with because of the impact to their business. A decade and a half later, Disney is back in Happy Meals and those food restrictions are gone. It led to some good things that lasted like Disney licensing fresh fruit, but it turned out that people will buy sugary treats with or without the Disney license.

Then there is the science of this. McDonald’s Happy Meal toys are not contributing in any meaningful way to climate change. The entire climate change problem comes down to energy and even moreso transportation. You can make an argument for Happy Meal toys contributing to landfills and not being biodegrabable. Look if biodegradable plastics really work, are cost effect, and allow you to make a comparable toy, then by all means, do it. But I am not convinced that is the case.

My guess, within 5 yrs plastic toys are back in Happy Meals. The meal without the toy really sucks.

I applaud their decision!!! We all need to think responsibly, either small or big, we have an impact on our world. It's up to each one of us to be the change we want to see. This applies to everything, not only environmental issues.

By the way, they did NOT say the meal will come WITHOUT a toy, they said the toy will not be made of "non-sustainable hard plastic" There is a BIG difference there!

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