McDonald’s outlets announce straws will only be given at customer’s request

Malaysian McDonald’s outlets have begun to advertise their commitment to curb plastic straw usage at local eateries, and will be implementing a by-request policy when it comes to the suckers.

Punters will now have to ask for a straw with their meal, as opposed to them being readily given, and available. While no official statement by the franchise has been released, individual locations in KL’s upscale Bangsar neighborhood, and in Penang, have posted signs informing patrons of the change in policy.

Straws, though small and seemingly minimal in waste space, are a ubiquitous feature in Malaysians’ daily lives: 31 million are used daily throughout the country, 11.3 billion per year. One straw can take 200 years to decompose.

The image of a turtle with a straw stuck in its nose is often used when catalyzing the public to curb plastic consumption, and it happened here in Malaysia in 2015.

Businesses are beginning to heed environmentalist’s calls, with news earlier this month that Starbucks would be phasing out single-use plastic straws by 2020. Locally, supermarket plastic bags and polystyrene food containers have been replaced with biodegradable versions, with more businesses encouraging the public to bring their own reusable bags.

So, what to do in a world devoid of plastic straws? Get yourselves reusable ones, of course.

A quick perusal of online retailer Lazada shows a variety of options, including cleaner, for as low as RM15 for the stainless-steel kind.

Metal not your game? How about bamboo? Meet The Usuk Initiative – a Sabah-based bamboo straw non-profit that aims to reduce unnecessary plastic waste. Their products are 100% natural and toxin-free.

Also, glass versions made of Pyrex are gaining popularity. Here! Look!

No excuses y’all.

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