The fast food giant has admitted their new paper straws are not recyclable. In 2018, McDonald’s replaced their recyclable plastic straws with paper ones in a bid to be more eco-friendly. However, the US food chain has now said the new straws should be put into general waste. The announcement comes after an internal memo revealed the company’s paper straws were thrown away by staff, was leaked by an insider. The straws are burnt instead of being sent to recycling plants. Although the materials which make up the new straws are recyclable, their thickness makes recycling difficult. McDonald’s uses 1.8 million straws a day in the UK, so the move to paper was a significant step in helping to reduce single-use plastic. McDonald’s switch these eco-friendly straws followed a successful trial in selected restaurants earlier in 2018. Despite this, up to 51,000 people have signed a petition to bring back the old plastic versions. Most straws are made from plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene, which can take hundreds of years to decompose. In spite of this, many customers claim the new straws make it difficult to drink milkshakes from as they dissolve. McDonald’s claim they are working towards a solution and the advice to put paper straws in general waste is temporary. In April 2018, the UK government proposed a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds in England.