We at McDonald’s recognise our responsibility to protect and preserve the environment for future generations. All of our activities are centred around reducing our impact on the environment. Every day we serve over 150,000 customers in Ireland and our actions can be really positive. Our goals are to minimise water and energy consumption, continuously increase recycling rates and work in our local communities to have a positive effect on the environment.
One of the most important initiatives launched by McDonald’s Ireland in recent years is our Planet Champion programme. We have selected one person from each restaurant who has been trained in ways to reduce the impact of their restaurant on the environment.
Keeping the restaurants’ surroundings tidy has been a key priority for McDonald’s Ireland since we first opened in 1977. McDonald’s restaurants operate as part of their local community and take pride in the appearance of our local environment. Our restaurants are involved in litter patrols, providing litter bins on all sites, while many of our stores also have close links with local community groups and Tidy Towns committees.
Recycling Projects and Reducing Waste
Corrugated cardboard is the largest paper mass that our restaurants collect and recycle. Each year over 700 tonnes of outer cardboard packaging are collected for recycling centrally by our distributor, Martin Brower.
Waste cooking oil is collected from our restaurants by our distributor Martin Brower, where the used oil is put through a careful filtering process. It is then mixed with methanol and methylate, washed and purified to yield biodiesel. The current mix used to fuel our delivery truck fleet is 30% biodiesel and 70% standard diesel.
This project was trialled in our restaurants throughout 2012 and 2013 and was recently launched across the Irish market. All clean plastics from our kitchens are now segregated and sent for recycling. This will potentially divert over 500 tonnes of waste from landfill each year.
At McDonald’s we work continuously to become more energy efficient through staff training, replacing old equipment with more energy efficient versions and also by purchasing 100% renewable energy each year. We also have a range of energy saving measures such as replacing light bulbs with LED bulbs that can help to decrease the overall amount of energy needed by restaurants.