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McDonald’s plastic straws upcycled to create canvases for artists

] A number of Canadian and Indigenous artists created custom artworks on trays made out of upcycled McDonald’s plastic straws
] A number of Canadian and Indigenous artists created custom artworks on trays made out of upcycled McDonald’s plastic straws.

McDonald’s Canada has revealed a series of original works of art commissioned from a cross-country group of Canadian and Indigenous artists who are using trays made with upcycled McDonald’s plastic straws.

Fifteen artists participated in the program and have created custom designs reflecting the artists’ diverse perspectives on sustainability and the environment.

To mark its Canada-wide transition to paper straws, McDonald’s Canada partnered with The Rogerie, a company specializing in making everyday products from recycled plastics, to turn a portion of its remaining plastic straws into trays, serving as canvasses for art. Each tray features custom artwork specially designed from Canadian and Indigenous artists.

In late 2021, McDonald’s restaurants in Canada transitioned to using paper straws, alongside the removal of other single-use plastics, namely cutlery and stir sticks, as part of an ongoing initiative to meet the company’s global packaging commitments.

Participating artists include:

West: Nicole Wolf, Ray Dak Lam, Jarett Sitter, Tierney Milne, Justin Currie, Chris Morin, and Monika Melnychuk

Ontario: Rachel Joanis, Mateusz Napieralski, and Ryan Pooman

Quebec: Genevieve Andersen and Anne-Julie Dudemaine

East: Kirsten Stackhouse, Bella Seonyoung Heo, and Elana Camille

The individually designed, limited edition trays will be donated to local Ronald McDonald House Charities houses across Canada. Houses may keep the tray on display for the families to enjoy, or they may choose to auction off the tray for fundraising purposes. For more about the artists, the inspiration to their specially designed artwork, and the making of the trays, visit mcdonalds.com/ca/en-ca/ourplanet/laststraw.html

“In the spirit of reducing waste being sent to landfill, we challenged ourselves to find an inventive and out-of-the-box way to give some of these plastic straws a ‘second act.’ Thanks to these artists, they can live on as something beautiful,” said Gemma Pryor, senior director – Canada impact team, McDonald’s Canada. “Removing single-use plastic straws from restaurants is just one of the initiatives McDonald’s Canada has undertaken. From reducing napkin size by 20 per cent in 2019, to trialing an electric vehicle as part of the supply chain distribution fleet earlier this year, we’re continuing to explore opportunities to make important changes in the Canadian system.”

McDonald’s Canada is committed to the brand’s global goal to source 100 per cent of its primary packaging from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by the end of 2025. The company states removing plastic cutlery, stir sticks, and straws will remove approximately 700 tonnes of plastics from the Canadian system annually, approximately 370 tonnes of which are attributed to plastic straws.

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