Burger King in UK Ditches Plastic Toys

Burger King sign against a cloudy sky
CC BY 2.0.


The fast food chain will also take old plastic toys and melt them down for repurposing.

Do you remember the two little girls, Caitlin and Ella, who started a petition earlier this summer asking fast food restaurants to get rid of their disposable plastic toys? They have been successful – a wonderful reminder that change can come even from the smallest and youngest of citizens.

Burger King just announced it will remove plastic toys from all Junior Meals in the United Kingdom in an effort to help the environment. The move is projected to spare 320 tonnes of plastic annually. Burger King locations will also accept old single-use plastic toys (not only theirs) for collection, offering a free Junior meal in exchange.

These old toys will be sorted, cleaned, shredded, and melted down – hence the name of the campaign, 'Meltdown'. From a statement on Burger King's website:

"All toys donated to the Meltdown will be given a new purpose and transformed into play areas for selected stores and special trays encouraging play across our restaurants. This means we are not only eradicating single-use plastic toys from our business, but we are also replacing any new plastics that would have been purchased for the trays & play areas."

The company has not yet said if it intends to do the same in the United States and elsewhere around the world, but if such a step has been taken in the UK, it's not a stretch to imagine the same would happen on this side of the Atlantic.

Last year Burger King UK switched to biodegradable plastic straws (still not great) and adopted a policy of handing out straws and lids only on request at restaurants. In St. Louis, Missouri, it ran a pilot project earlier this year to see how a plant-based Impossible Whopper would sell.

In the meantime, you can still add your name to Caitlin and Ella's petition. It currently has over 527,000 signatures.