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 case.
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.


1. Of:
"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 Act 1952.

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 plaintiff.

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 acid rain.