1. I am the Chief Purchasing Officer and Senior Vice President of McDonald's UK and Eire; Since early 1993 I have been Chief Purchasing Officer outside the United Kingdom for Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland.
2. I first Joined McDonald's in 1978 as Purchasing Manager, prior to which I have always worked in a sales/marketing and purchasing capacity with various wholesale and retail companies.
3. The Purchasing Department of McDonald's Restaurants Limited is divided into two functions, purchasing and quality assurance.
4. The purchasing responsibilities involve the procurement of products made exclusively for McDonald's for use in their restaurants. McDonald's does not produce or supply any of the products it sells; all are purchased from independent suppliers and distributors.
5. As Chief Purchasing Officer and Senior Vice President I am conversant with every product sold by McDonald's and its packaging.
6. I have seen and read the allegations made by Greenpeace (London) in the pleadings in this action. From my personal knowledge many of the allegations are inaccurate for the reasons I set out below:
Recycling and Waste
7. In the Particulars of Justification and Fair Comment the Defendants state that it was not until in or around May 1990 that McDonald's took its first stop towards developing a waste minimisation and recycling programme. This is not so.
8. McDonald's Restaurants in the U.K. first started considering the use of recycled materials in 1988. To co-ordinate all our environmental initiatives we established in October 1990 an environmental Task Force which included representatives from various different areas of the Company including Operations, Purchasing, Construction, Public Relations, Marketing and Perseco. The Task Force developed and published our corporate environmental policy which has been adopted by the Company and is monitored by Mr. Mike Matthews, the manager of local government affairs and special projects, which includes environmental issues.
9. In 1988 we commenced a Joint programme with Linpac Plastics International Limited ("Linpac") who are the Second Plaintiffs suppliers of all blown foam packaging for food. Linpac also supply clear polystyrene packaging such as donut and salad containers. The programme was conducted at four of our stores in the Nottingham area aimed at developing an understanding of how to get our customers to separate the polystyrene items from the other waste with a view to recycling them. To my knowledge no other company, especially in the same business as McDonald's, had at that time introduced such a programme.
10. It was apparent from our experience that whilst many of our customers did separate the polystyrene items from other items at least half the weight of waste in the polystyrene bin was from waste other than polystyrene.
11. Following discussions between McDonald's and Linpac, Linpac agreed to construct Europe's first post-consumer polystyrene recycling plant in Bollington, Cheshire which opened in January 1992 opened by Baroness Denton, following which McDonald's commenced a recycling programme of its polystyrene products. Prior to that time it was not possible for the Company to recycle polystyrene because there was no recycling plant in the U.K. to do it.
12. In May 1992 the new trial programme of recycling polystyrene was launched at the garden festival in Wales. When this closed we continued the programme in four Manchester restaurants which are still ongoing. Manchester was chosen because it is close to the recycling plant. The programme is still very much an evolutionary one but we hope that eventually recycling schemes will be in place in all of McDonald's restaurants.
13. The recycling programme works as follows. Separate bins are provided within the store for the various types of waste and the customers are encouraged to separate their waste accordingly. The polystyrene waste is then collected by our distribution service and taken to a distribution centre where it is collected by Linpac and taken to its recycling plant where it goes through a further process of separation, cleaning and sorting. Once the polystyrene polymers have been sorted out from the other polymers they are sold on to other plastics manufacturers as they cannot be used for food containers thereafter. We hope shortly that Linpac will be able to use the recycled polystyrene in manufacturing its own plastics to enable us to purchase plastics recycled from our own waste, not for food packaging but for insulation and building materials etc., thus closing our own recycling loop. The UK recycling plant is regarded very much as a 'trial horse' for the rest of Europe and eventually we hope to introduce a similar recycling programme throughout Europe.
14. We have also introduced two major packaging objectives which we are pursuing with Perseco Europe and our other suppliers. Perseco provides a complete purchasing service to McDonald's worldwide with the exception of Japan and Canada. The first is to increase the recycled content of the packaging and the second is source reduction. At this stage we are not actively pursuing reusables.
15. Together with Perseco, we are constantly reviewing our products and packaging to make improvements both from the performance and environmental point of view wherever possible. However, McDonald's ability to recycle and reduce waste has been and still is dependent on (a) the technology and infra-structure available in different countries and (b) the size of the operation in each country. Only now is the technology infra-structure emerging. For example, until Linpac built the first post consumer recycling plant on McDonald's initiative it was not possible to recycle polystyrene. Also since the 1990's, the European operation, with 1500 restaurants, is of a sufficient size to co-ordinate resources and the infra-structure to make the programme viable.
16. As well as recycling polystyrene, for as long as I can remember McDonald's Restaurants has recycled waste oils from friers which makes up 10% of the restaurants' waste. The current system is that the oils are collected in stainless steel boxes which are collected regularly and efficiently. The oils are returned to the recyclers and used in animal feedstuffs.
17. The Defendants allege that for many years McDonald's have and continue to use packaging harmful to the environment. They refer particularly to the use of food packaging made with CFCs and HCFC 22 as the blowing agent.
18. The only packaging used by McDonald's in which a blowing agent is used or required is the foam packaging for our sandwiches and some breakfast items and foam hot cups. In the UK all our foam clamshells are produced for us by Linpac and have been since we commenced operations in the UK in 1974.
19. Historically the blowing agent used was pentane until about 1986 when we changed to using CFC's for foam packaging for food. Pentane has only ever been used as the blowing agent for hot cups as this is the manufacturers preferred blowing agent. The reason for the change to CFC's in 1986 was that they were relatively inexpensive, non-flammable and produced a superior product. At the time there was no concern about the environmental impact of CFC's. However as evidence started to emerge that CFC's might be a contributing factor to ozone depletion McDonald's took the decision, in about September 1988, to cease using CFC's and we returned to using pentane as a blowing agent. This decision was taken shortly after the Montreal Protocol and in advance of public concern and general awareness of the environmental damage used by CFC's.
20. This decision to discontinue using CFC's was discussed within McDonald's and subsequent to making it I instructed Linpac during a meeting with them in York to change the blowing agent to pentane. I recall that this came as a surprise and somewhat of a shock to Linpac because at that time the evidence of environmental damage had only just emerged. Because Linpac have been our suppliers of polystyrene food containers since the company started in the U.K. I have on many occasions visited their operation and had regular discussions about their products with its management. I therefore knew that they had the technology to make the change to pentane, even though as manufacturers they preferred to use CFC's because it is a much safer blowing agent than pentane.
21. In total McDonald's Restaurants in the U.K. used CFC's for a period of 18 months and the decision to cease using them was brought about solely by our own environmental concerns and was ahead of public pressure; nor was it in order to comply with any legislation. In the UK McDonald's have never been supplied with foam packaging in which HCFC's have been used as a blowing agent.
22. The company has given detailed consideration to using wraps for our sandwich products instead of polystyrene. However, polystyrene is the preferred packaging of the Company which is reinforced by our customers because It retains the heat better and keeps the product fresher and in better condition. On one occasion we did introduce paper wraps for our filet o' fish sandwiches but our consumers complained that wraps have less resilience and did not protect the product as well. Because the United Kingdom has the only polystyrene recycling plant in Europe this enables us to use our preferred packaging of polystyrene and to recycle it.
23. When taking, for example, the UK market, the major packaging items are:-
a. Paper bags: these comprise the biggest usage of paper items and since 1991 the paper bags used by McDonald's are made from 100% unbleached recycled paper. For a considerable period prior to that time we used a high percentage of recycled paper in the bags.
b. Napkins: in the United Kingdom two suppliers provide napkins and since January 1991 the napkins sold to McDonald's are made from 100% recycled paper. Prior to that time the napkins had a percentage of recycled content but there was doubt as to whether the legislation enabled us to use recycled paper because napkins could be in contact with food. Legislation requires that no recycled paper can be in contact with food because its previous use has not been known and there are safety considerations with regard to contamination. When that doubt was clarified we were able to switch to 100% recycled paper. Between March 1991 and December 1992 we have consistently reduced the size of the napkins enabling us to save over lm. kilogrammes of paper a year.
c. Paper two and four hole trays: since approximately 1981 100% of theme are made from 100% recycled unbleached paper.
d. Fry cartons: From June 1990 these are made from 72% recycled paper. It is not possible to increase the recycled content because of hygiene regulations prohibiting recycled paper being in contact with food on hygiene grounds.
e. Apple Pie cartons: Since May 1991 these are made from 72% recycled paper. Again the recycled content cannot be increased as the product is in contact with the carton.
f. Place mats: Since July 1991 these are made from 100% recycled paper. g. Toilet rolls: All have been made from 100% recycled paper since August 1989.
h. Kitchen towels: Since August 1989 all are made from 100% recycled paper.
i. Chicken McNugget cartons: Are made from 72% recycled paper since February/March 1991.
j. Office stationery: the vast majority of this is made from recycled paper. In about 1990 we started introducing recycled paper into the office stationery. However, at that time there was little recycled paper but much of it was recyclable, which we introduced. It was only when recycled paper became available for all office use that we introduced it throughout our entire office stationery range and now all office stationery is made from recycled paper.
k. Straws: In November 1991 we reduced the weight from 0.80 gm. to 0.75 gm.
24. Further, at our head offices there are collection points on all floors for waste paper that can be sent for recycling.
25. With regard to the position of Europe generally, the amount of recycled paper used is largely the some but for the following differences:
a. only some napkins are recycled because the European based suppliers do not have recycling plants. Any napkins imported from one of the UK suppliers do of course contain recycled paper.
b. 2-4 hole trays: these are not used in European countries.
c. Paper bags are not produced from recycled paper, again because the suppliers do not have a recycling plant.
26. The corporate environmental policy focuses on reducing packaging and solid waste, reusing materials where practical and recycling. Since 1990 we have made considerable reductions in the amount of plastic packaging used by making bulk deliveries and using thinner polystyrene. A further 334,000 kilogrammes is being saved through the development of light waste and unbleached food wrap paper and by standardising carry out bags.
27. With regard to McDonald's packaging generally a complete purchasing service of all our consumer packaging is provided by Perseco Europe. Perseco first established a European base in Holland in the early 1990's. Prior to establishing an office in Europe McDonald's Restaurants Limited and various McDonald's companies in Europe arranged for the supply of packaging direct with our suppliers. All the environmental initiatives prior to that time (over 12 years ago) were negotiated direct with suppliers on McDonald's instructions and initiatives. In early 1992 Perseco Europe moved its headquarters to Langley in the UK. Since Perseco has been established in Europe it has acted as a 'broker' between McDonald's a and its suppliers.
28. On the whole each European country will use the same type of cups, stirrers, napkins, bags, and pie containers and other consumer packaging items. The major difference between each European country's requirements relates to the wraps/foam clam shells used for packaging the beef sandwich and other chicken and fish items.
29. The criteria which will dictate each country's preference for wraps/clam shells is the countries perception of product performance, price and customer acceptance based on the various environmental concerns of that country. For example Turkey uses foam packaging for their clam shells, the blowing agent being HCFCs. This is the only country in Europe to do so. One of the reasons why it uses HCFC as opposed to butane or pentane is because the latter two substances are flammable and it does not have the advanced technology necessary to handle safely those resources.
30. In Germany and Austria there are environmental concerns about the use of blown polystyrene foam, although at present polystyrene is used in an unblown form to produce lids and salad packaging. Hot cups in these countries are made from paper. However it is likely in the near future that polyethylene will be used in these products as there is a public perception that the change will be environmentally beneficial, although I am not aware of any environmental reason why this is more beneficial. The reason these countries used paperboard clamshells as opposed to blown polystyrene form clamshells is because of environmental concerns about insufficient landfills (polystyrene form is inert and not biodegradable).
31. In both Austria and Germany the landfill problem is considered to be a significant one and German environmental law does not consider incineration to be an acceptable alternative form of waste disposable. In the UK and France there is at present no significant landfill problem.
32. In Sweden paper and board is used as opposed to polystyrene for clamshells but the restaurants do use polystyrene hot cups. This decision to use paper board is not driven by landfill or ozone depletion concern but because the country supports its timber industry. Because of this they require that virgin paper board only is used as opposed to recycled paper material.
33. Although in Germany incineration is not considered an acceptable form of waste disposal, in Sweden and in particular Stockholm, incineration accounts for about 97% of the power generated by the burning of waste. In that country the consumer separates waste into different types and by incineration energy is recovered. Efficiency of burning polystyrene is exceptionally high. Similarly 75% of energy in Switzerland is generated from incineration.
34. Part of the reason for this difference in attitude to incineration results from the fact that incineration technology and facilities in some countries like Germany and Austria are older, whereas in Sweden and Switzerland there are highly developed facilities for re-using energy.
35. In the Further and Better Particulars it is alleged that McDonald's food is high in fat and saturated fat and low in vitamins and fibre content and as such the food damages health. The nutritional leaflet dated 1989 and entitled "McDonald's Food - The Facts" which is produced by our department accurately lists all the ingredients in McDonald's products at the time they were in circulation. The data contained in the leaflets was prepared by independent nutrition experts following an analysis of all our products.
36. Further, McDonald's was the first restaurant company to produce nutrition guides which are available in all stores and which give nutritional information and the complete list of ingredients used in the food we serve. These nutrition guides were introduced in the UK in about 1984. It is therefore incorrect to allege that the Company does not inform the public about all the nutritional facts in relation to our products. Additionally, diabetes booklets are available in all restaurants giving exchange values for each product to help customers calculate their carbohydrate intake.
37. Traditionally hamburgers have been the mayor product of McDonald's but because many customers prefer to eat white meat or fish the company introduced Filet O' Fish, Chicken McNuggets and McChicken Sandwiches to provide white meat and to address nutritional issues. Further, pizzas and salads are being tested and fresh orange juice and mineral water is available in all stores. The salads available are 'garden salads' with egg and grated cheese and 'chef salad' which is a garden salad with ham and turkey.
38. It is because of the company's awareness that people have varying diets and are conscious of nutritional values that these other menu items have been introduced.
39. It is true that our products contain some additives, including some of those listed on pages 12 and 13 of the Further and Better Particulars. All of these are permitted additives and are used in permitted quantities.
June 10, 1993|
Appeared in court|
exhibits: Not applicable/ available
transcripts of court appearances: