Fast food chain McDonald’s started “No Straws Monday” this week. The initiative is the latest one launched by retailers in the city to reduce plastic waste.

The policy, which was launched on Monday, states that the restaurants’ containers of plastic straws will be kept empty and their staff will not offer straws unless customers ask for them.

No Straw Monday at McDonald’s. Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

The move came after fast food chain KFC announced that it would stop providing plastic straws and cup lids for customers who ate in the restaurants. The policy was first tested on July 16 and made universal on August 23.

Food delivery service Deliveroo and Ocean Park also committed to similar policies in June.

McDonald’s Hong Kong told Ming Pao that it currently has no plans to replace plastic straws with paper straws, like those proposed in the UK and Ireland.

It added that the restaurant chain is phasing out styrofoam containers, and plans to completely eliminate their use by the third quarter of this year.

At a local McDonald’s, the new policy appeared to be received with a shrug.

No Straw Monday at McDonald’s. Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

“If I need one I’ll just ask, it’s not that difficult,” Mr. Kwok, a university student, told HKFP. “If I get takeaway I usually get straws.”

Ms. Yeung, a retired housewife, told HKFP she supported the policy’s aim of environmental protection despite the added inconvenience: “It’s a bit awkward to drink an iced beverage with no straw. But to be honest, there is not much difference.”

Holmes Chan

Holmes Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. He covers local news with a focus on law, politics, and social movements. He studied law and literature at the University of Hong Kong.