As the world's largest franchised corporation, with over 31,000 restaurants in 120 countries employing 1.5 million people, McDonald's is also one of the greatest consumer contributors to the trash epidemic facing our world today. As a corporation that boasts of its environmental responsibility, the question is: are they doing all they can.
First, a few little-known facts:
A typical McDonald's restaurant serves an average of 109 customers each peak hour, with every customer producing an average of 56.7 grams of trash. Consequently, an estimated 6.35 kilograms of trash is generated from food sales alone each (peak) hour, so across the world, at least 196,821 kg of trash are being generated every hour!
In 2006, McDonald's corporation's revenues totaled $21.5 billion USD, almost four times that of their competitive counterparts. To figure out what kind of trash is produced by a quarter trillon dollars, let's calculate it by dividing the total by the price of a combo meal. On average, the nations with the greatest number of McDonald's restaurants (China, UK, France, U.S., Canada, etc.) charge about $4.50 (CDN or US?) - including the rate of conversion.
This equals approximately 4.8 billion combo meals sold in 2006 . Each of these meals includes at least seven articles of trash (sandwich wrap, cup, lid, straw, fries container, tray paper/paper bag), which, when multiplied by the number of sales, totals about 28.8 billion articles of trash each year – packaging that is generally disposed of after less than five minutes of use!
Paper products (such as fry containers, trayliners, cups and sandwich wraps) lead to deforestation and habitat destruction. Natural forests are cleared to make way for monoculture plantation. Chlorine, used to bleach paper, is continually dumped into lakes and rivers – drinking water to a multitude of people of indigenous villages - killing...