RECYCLING AND WASTE
1 RE-AMENDED PARTICULARS OF JUSTIFICATION AND FAIR COMMENT
B. Recycling and Waste
The production and disposal of packaging is damaging to the environment.
In the United States McDonald's produces many thousands of tons of solid
waste at its restaurants which are dumped in increasingly expensive and
scarce landfills. It was not until in or around August 1990 that McDonald's
agreed to study how this waste is generated and to outline options for reducing,
re-using1 recycling or composting this refuse.
Although McDonald's opened its first restaurant in the United Kingdom in
1974, it was not until in or around May 1990 that it took its first
steps towards developing a waste minimisation and recycling programme.
Prior to 1990 only a small percentage of the packaging used by McDonald's
in the UK was composed of recycled paper. According to McDonald's own literature
it takes 17 trees to produce a ton of paper.
Some packaging was changed from paper to polystyrene. However, this is not
biodegradable and is harmful to the environment. Until about mid-1987 McDonald's
was extensively using food-packaging made with CFCs which are harmful to
the ozone layer. it now uses packaging made with HCFCs which is also capable
of destruying the ozone layer. It then switched to packaging made with
HCFC's which are also capable of destroying the ozone layer or with pentane
which is also damaging the environment.
Portland, Oregon, USA 1989/ 90. After Portland authorities enacted an anti-styrofoam
statute, McDonald's took the municipal government to court but lost the
- Australia, 1989. McDonald's gave a written undertaking to the Australian
Trade Practices Comission not to re-use advertisements stating that their
packaging which containted HCFCs was 'ozone friendly'.
- In or around December 1991, Paul Preston, mcDonald's UK President, stated
in an interview with the London Evening Standard that 'Litter is certainly
the biggest complaint' the company receives.
2. REQUEST FOR FURTHER AND BETTER PARTICULARS OF THE PARTICULARS OF
JUSTIFICATION AND FAIR COMMENT
- "Further or in the alternative, the words complained of in their
natural and ordinary meaning are true in substance and in fact. In so far
as it may be necessary the Defendants will rely on Section 5 of the Defamation
- Particulars of Justification will be served separately. "
Specifying, in relation to each plaintiff, the defamatory meanings which
the Defendants seek to justify.
The Defendants seek to justify the following meanings in respect of each
- That the huge scale and nature of the First and Second plaintiffs'
business inevitably involves them in purchasing many tons of paper most
of which is not recycled and which therefore contributes to the destructions
of trees and forests. Further, that for many years the First and Second
Plaintiff used materials for food-packaging which were harmful to the environment.
The First and Second plaintiffs continue to use packaging which is harmful
to the environment.
4. Under sub-paragraph B (Recycling and Waste)
- "It (meaning McDonald's) now uses packaging made with HCFC's which
is also capable of destroying the ozone layer". stating how it is alleged
that the said packaging is capable of destroying the ozone layer.
The requested particular is a matter of evidence and the Defendants' reserve
the right to call evidence at the trial on this subject. However, without
prejudice to the foregoing, it is contended that HCFC 22 is one of the OFC
family which are harmful to the environment and the ozone layer in particular.
HCFC 22 contaIns chlorine which reaches the stratosphere and attacks the
ozone layer. It creates a plateau effect, keeping chlorine levels significantly
higher for decades longer than they would be if HCFC's were not used. In
addition many scientists believe that HCFC's react with the lower atmosphere
to form highly toxic hydrochloric and flurocidic acids which in tuarn become