SICK OF WASTEFUL PACKAGING AND LITTER ?
Waste from mass produced consumer packaging is a huge social and environmental problem. To highlight this we are focusing on one of the main culprits: the 'junk food' giants, McDonalds.
THE PROBLEM - A LOAD OF RUBBISH
- McDonald's packaging: A useful lifespan of only abut 10 minutes is a gross waste of resources. Eating at home or in cafe style sit down restaurants eliminates the need for such waste. McDonalds creates an incredible 10 MILLION KILOS of throwaway mater- ial each year in the UK alone(McDonalds own figures). this represents a massice vol- ume in the waste stream.
- Is wasteful and often unnecessary - It is designed to promote goods (which are often frivolous and can be of poor quality). It is often unnecessary, or could at least be reduced in volume and weight.
- McDonalds: their already overworked staff are supposed to do litter patrols, but even when these are done these rarely go beyond the immediate vicinity of the store. McDonalds are expanding their "Drive-Thru's" which result in litter spread far and wide as modern car culture is encouraged.
- Ends up as litter - Packaging often ends up littering our streets and green spaces, and fills bins to overflowing. Fast food outlets are the biggest culprits. Local authoritieshave the power to prosecute such outlets and force them to regularly clean up around their stores.
- McDonalds: Their styrofoam is particularly voluminous. It is toxic and unnecessary - and is not recycled after use. Much of the paper comes from "factory forests" which ahve been turned into unnatural plantations.
- Damages the environment - packaging clogs up the waste stream, filling bins, dustcarts, landfill dumps and incinerators. Much is non-biodegradable and toxic, causing air, water and soil pollution. The companies responsible expect others to pay to clean up their mess. They'd soon change their ways if it was all sent back to them!
- McDonalds: Each year they spend over $1 billion worldwide on ads and promotions in order to entice the public into their stores. Last year's turnover was $24 billion, meaning fat profits for their sharehoders.
- Makes Profits Packaging is part of the marketing and hype to get the public to buy mass produced, low quality goods. This is all part of today's modern junk culture and the throwaway society - all to make profits for a few.
- Reduce & Refuse
The first priority is for all unnecessary packaging to be eliminated. Refuse to accept needless packaging. Any essential material to be as safe for the environment as possible. Alternative and less wasteful ways of distributing food and other goods need to be expanded.
Wherever possible, packaging should be returned to the retailer for re-use.
Items unable to be re-used should be collected for recycling to save resources.
We can all influence our lives, our society and our environment, and make companies accountable for their business practices. We can promote alternative ways of doing things - society can be re-organised for the benefit of communities and the environment, not for profits.
COLLECT IT AND SEND IT BACK TO BIG-MAC
"Litter is certainly the biggest complaint (to McDonalds). It's a British social problem.. I'm surprised you haven't conquered it."
Paul Preston, McDonalds UK chief, December 1991.
McDonalds are RESONSIBLE for creating millions of kilos of unnecessary and wasteful packaging which clogs up waste collection systems and is toxic and damaging to the environment.
Their styrofoam is not bio-degradable, and it's production contributes to smog formation and global warming.
On top of this, tons of their packaging ends up littering our streets and green areas. They are one of the biggest culprits.
The company makes little or no effort to eliminate or re-use their packaging.
It seems they need help to get the recycling volume up - LET'S HELP THEM!
In General - Groups like Friends of the Earth and the Women's Environmental Network have run send-it-back campaigns pressurising companies to eliminate or re-use their packaging. Evironmentalists have spearheaded the growth of recycling schemes in most towns and neighbourhoods. People in local communities ahve opposed new toxic waste dumps and incinerators.
McDonalds: In the USA, campaigners against toxic waste and packaging, backed by schoolchildren, launched a huge Send-it-Back campaign forcing McDonalds to withdraw their infamous styrofoam clamshells (now replaced in the USA with paper wraps).
Here, residents ahve regularly opposed planning permission for new company outlets because of the litter problem.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
Get together with friends or neighbours - circulate this leaflet and collect McDonalds litter in your area.
Bring this up at your school as a project, or with yur residents group as a protest.
Write to local press etc...
"If I feed a million people and they all bought a soft drink, I bet in the entire UK we wouldn't find 150 cups (as litter)."
Paul Preston 4.7.1994
Lets help Mr Preston appreciate the true extent of the problem and his company's contribution to it.
Operation "Send-It-Back", (a network set up by London Greenpeace and Veggies Ltd.) c/o 180 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3HW. tel. 0115 - 958 - 5666
Feel free to continue this or launch your own 'Send-it-back' campaign.
COLLECT IT AND TAKE IT BACK TO YOUR LOCAL McDONALDS
send your litter package to:
Paul Preston, McDonald's HQ, 11-59 High Road, LONDON, N2 8AW