McDonald's Canada Deepens Commitment to Sustainability

McDonald's Canada aims to source 100% of McDonald's primary guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by the end of 2025 and is part of the McDonald's global pledge to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
Anna Wolfe  profile picture
a person standing in front of a store

As part of McDonald's Canada's ambitions to help feed and foster communities, the company is making important changes behind the scenes across the country with the planet in mind. McDonald's Canada is part of a global journey to source 100% of McDonald's primary guest packaging* from renewable, recycled or certified sources by the end of 2025 and is part of the McDonald's global pledge to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

"We recognize we have an important opportunity to help serve up a better tomorrow, and the actions we're working on today are an investment in our future," Michèle Boudria, President and CEO, McDonald's Canada. "When you live and operate in almost every Canadian community, serving more than a million guests every day, every single change – big and small - can have a noticeable impact."


Sustainability matters to today's consumers and restaurant operators. Two out of three (66%) consumers surveyed feel it’s important that restaurants are open about their practices to limit food wasteAccording to the National Restaurant Association’s annual What’s Hot Culinary Forecast, sustainability will continue to influence menus and how restaurants make decisions in 2022. 

Restaurants are touting their efforts. Recently HT  reported: Two Net-Zero KFC Locations opened in China. For Taco Bell, sustainability is on its list of "guiding philosophies" for 2022.  Chipotle aims to reduce its carbon emissions 50% by 2030. Also leading the charge is Panera Bread, which has a goal to become climate positive by 2050. And to reduce the greenhouse  gas emissions of its supply chain fleet, McDonald’s Canada is testing the electric Volvo VNR Electric truck.In this case study, Wendy's franchise saves time, money and product.

McDonald's Canada continues to make important changes behind the scenes and in restaurants across the country, so Canadians can feel good about enjoying the McDonald's they love.

Here are some of the steps McDonald's has taken so far:

  • McDonald’s Canada is testing the electric Volvo VNR Electric truck.
  • In 2019, McDonald's Canada eliminated more than 1,300 tons of paper from the Canadian system annually by introducing new McWrap® packaging, and 20% smaller, 100% recycled fibre napkins. 
  • Also in 2019, the brand stopped using extruded polystyrene foam from gravy bowls and breakfast platters, removing more than 120 tonnes from the Canadian system annually.
  • In late 2021, McDonald's Canada removed certain single-use plastics** in its restaurants across the country, namely plastic cutlery**, stir sticks and straws, eliminating approximately 700 tonnes of plastics from the Canadian system annually, with almost 370 tonnes of this attributed to plastic straws alone.***
  • Following the transition from plastic to paper straws, the brand gave a "second life" to a portion of its remaining single-use plastic straws through a partnership with The Rogerie, turning the straws into limited edition trays^, which serve as a canvas for artwork. Learn more about The Last Straw here.
  • In May 2022, we completed a paper fibre-reduction initiative for our McCafé hot cups. This reduction will eliminate nearly 700 tonnes of paper fibre from the Canadian system annually.††
  • In mid-July 2022, McDonald's Canada re-introduced its Reusable Travel Mug policy, encouraging guests in Canada to bring their own clean, reusable travel mugs for use with their hot McCafé Premium Roast Coffee and Tea orders made at the Front Counter.
  • In May of 2022, McDonald's Canada, together with other brands, joined a six-month pilot program called 'Return-It to Reuse It and Recycle It', managed by Encorp Pacific, better known as Return-It. This pilot is dual-focused, aiming to keep more single-use cups out of landfills by giving consumers a convenient place to recycle them as well as introducing a reusable cup program, with consumers signing-up to use reusable cups that will be washed and returned to retail locations. McDonald's Canada is actively participating in the single-use cups reduction part of the pilot and is excited to explore the reusable cup part of their partnership with Return-It in the future. Both the single-use cups and the reusable cup program will be facilitated via the use of specialized collection bins, which are made from recycled plastics and have been made available in commercial as well as on-street locations.
McDonalds delivery truck