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McDonald’s Is Giving All Happy Meal Toys A Dramatic, Sustainable Makeover
By Mikelle Leow, 22 Sep 2021
Image via McDonald’s Corporation
McDonald’s is bringing more validation for that smile on its Happy Meal boxes with a pact to overhaul toys to save the environment. By 2025, the fast-food giant hopes to make every toy from its kids’ meals sustainable.
With the toy being a core feature of Happy Meals, McDonald’s intends to “keep the fun” while taking a more eco-conscious direction. Beginning now, the chain will adopt renewable, recycled, or certified materials—like “bio-based and plant-derived materials and certified fiber”—for its Happy Meal toys in an ambitious attempt to cut its use of virgin fossil-fuel plastic by 90%.
Image via McDonald’s
However, the brand isn’t just drawing the line with materials in its push for sustainability. It is also working with suppliers, play experts, engineers, and families to reinvent the toys. Apart from goodies for kids, there could also be toys for grownups, such as customizable figures and DIY construction collectibles, Yahoo Finance shares.
Take, for example, a popular plastic Batman toy which McDonald’s plans to bring back as a buildable 3D figurine.
Image via McDonald’s
Yahoo Finance notes that other ideas McDonald’s has in mind include the option for children to add facial features and dress toys. They could also express their individuality and customize figurines with stickers provided in the meals.
Plastic packaging of toys could be replaced with plant-based and fiber wrappers. Meanwhile, McDonald’s is also looking to upcycle old toys and incorporate them in trays.
Although significant, the decision to rethink its toys to protect the planet isn’t new. Happy Meal toys in France are already manufactured with eco-friendly alternatives, and the Golden Arches in the UK and Ireland are following suit. Altogether, they have reportedly saved McDonald’s 30% in virgin plastic since 2018.
[via Yahoo Finance, and Dieline, images via McDonald’s]
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