Plastics and trash are quickly mounting and are endangering the beauty and health of our environment. All acts – large and small – are important to protect the environment. As consumers, we recycle, repurpose, or try to reuse. And, for corporations, the stakes are even higher as they look at their responsibility to people and the planet.
Many corporations have committed to reducing waste in their operations. For example, McDonald’s committed to having 100% of its packing globally come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025. And, beginning in September 2018, McDonald’s in the UK will be replacing plastic straws with paper ones. McDonald’s has 1,361 outlets in the UK and it uses around 1.8 million straws per day in the UK alone. While it may seem like a small item, plastic straws are the sixth most common type of trash on a global scale. Because of the plastic’s composition, it is difficult to recycle plastic straws.
McDonald’s is implementing the program in response to petitions calling for the switch from plastic, warning that plastic straws pollute the oceans, harm seabirds and marine life. An estimated 1 million birds, and more than 100,000 sea mammals die each year as a result of eating or getting tangled in plastic waste.
Let’s skip the straws.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the importance of social responsibility.
- What is the triple bottom-line for social responsibility?
- View video on the McDonald’s change: https://youtu.be/wH61dYMieJo
- View Blue Planet video clip about plastic waste: https://youtu.be/I4QNolP7Khc
- Divide students into teams. Each team should identify a simple environmental problem and a solution.
- How should the solution be marketed?
Source: The Guardian, New York Times, Brandchannel.com, other news sources