In addition to the US testing, McDonald's will implement paper straws in all 1,361 of its restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with the rollout scheduled to begin in September and conclude by 2019.
McDonald's is ditching plastic straws in all its 1,361 United Kingdom and Ireland restaurants, in what could turn out to be a playbook it repeats in the rest of the world.
The announcement follows news that the government is planning to ban the sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds from sale in England.
The restaurant chain has conducted a trial of the paper replacements at a handful of venues since April, and found customers reacted positively to the change, with the majority supporting the effort to protect the environment.
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The move comes after estimates that 8.5 billion straws are used in Britain every year - or more than 23 million a day - which is contributing to the death of marine animals, according to the Marine Conservation Society.
The rollout will take place in all 1,361 restaurants in the two countries.
"The drive to eliminate plastic straws is a good step and it's symbolic - and symbols are important", he said.
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In parts of Latin America and Malaysia, the company is starting to offer straws on request only.
In May, the Restaurants Association of Ireland called on its 2,500 members to implement a ban on single-use straws.
The move comes as pressure grows on companies to reduce single-use plastic products and packaging, amid concerns over plastic pollution in the oceans where items such as straws end up harming wildlife like turtles and fish. She said paper alternatives were not always suitable or safe.
McDonald's, as the largest fast-food chain in the world, had been urged to lead the way and ban plastic straws across all of its 36,000 outlets. It argued that straws can be recycled together with cartons if they are pushed back into the box.
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