Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed the decision by McDonald’s fast food chain in Ireland to replace plastic straws in Ireland and said that people power and vocal complaints from customers was the deciding factor in the company making the decision.

The GAA have also the banned their use in Croke Park and other grounds and are introducing paper replacements as part of their campaign to eliminate plastic products that are difficult to recycle and having such a detrimental impact on fish, wildlife and our planet

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“I want welcome the news that McDonald’s will phase out  the use of plastic straws in its Irish and British outlets next year, after nearly half a million people called on the company to get rid of them. The move comes as pressure grows on companies to reduce single-use plastic products and packaging, amid concerns over plastic pollution

“The McDonald’s move follows a similar decision by the GAA to ban the straws in Croke Park and across other venues in Ireland.

“The introduction of paper straws in McDonald’s 1,361 restaurants will begin in September, with the process expected to be completed by next year.

“Horrific pictures of turtles with plastic straws stuck in their nostrils or whales dying after congesting plastic has led to a greater awareness and increased calls for Government action and corporate initiatives on plastic.”

Deputy Seán Crowe continued:

“The decision by McDonalds and the lead given by the GAA is welcome and will hopefully act as a spur now for the Government and Minister Denis Naughten to take action and ban outright, plastic products that are currently not recyclable

“Plastic is literally choking and poisoning our oceans, our fish, our mammals, our wildlife and our planet. Human beings are not immune and we collectively need to do more to eliminate these harmful products from our lives.

“Ireland should take the lead in creating viable alternatives that will reverse the catastrophic policies of waste and destruction that mankind is currently pursuing.

“It needs leadership, positive actions, and initiatives coming from business, sporting and cultural organisations, trade unions, and community organisations, but most of all it needs to come from Government.”