McDonald's opens first sustainable restaurant in Australia

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

McDonald’s has opened its 1000th Aussie store and its celebrating by launching the first “green” Macca’s in the country.

The first-ever sustainability flagship McDonald’s for Australia features a stack of environmentally friendly elements including 100 per cent renewable energy, carbon neutral McDelivery and a recycling centre for unwanted Happy Meal toys.

Diners will be welcomed by a green wall when they enter the dining room, full of living plants that increase biodiversity, provide insulation and clean the air.

McDonald's opens eco-friendly store near Melbourne.
The store is officially opened. Source: Supplied

860 tonnes of plastic saved

The green Macca’s is located in Melton, South Victoria, and customers will be served their sundaes in paper cups, sip their thick shakes from paper straws and dig into salads with wooden cutlery – a collective impact the fast food giant estimates will remove 860 tonnes of plastic from the McDonald’s system.

The McDonald's green store in Victoria has plants.
The 'green' store will look a little different. Source: Supplied

In early 2021 a trial will see front-of-house waste from the store recycled into carry bags and wraps packaging that can be composted, in an effort to reduce waste to landfill.

Kerbing throughout the car park is made from recycled cups and plastics, and electric car users can recharge their vehicles at one of the EV charging stations.

Recycled bespoke playground

The little ones can work up an appetite on the bespoke PlayPlace made with recycled materials – 60 per cent is sourced from old Macca’s play equipment, with the remaining 40 per cent of material being 100 per cent recyclable at the end of its life.

A coffee cup recycling station at Melton's new McDonald's store.
The fast-food chain is aiming to improve it recycling credentials. Source: Supplied

Carbon neutral McDelivery is an option for those who want to stay at home via Uber Eats and DoorDash, where carbon credits will be used to offset the emissions from deliveries made from the restaurant for 12 months.

An on-site solar system will generate around 42,000kWh per year while an energy efficient air-conditioning system, hydrocarbon equipment and a building monitoring system will help collectively reduce carbon emissions and energy used.

80 more green restaurants planned

The green golden arches location is just the first of 80 new restaurants planned to open over the next three years that will feature a range of core sustainability elements found in the flagship, with McDonald’s Australia investing more than $500 million in going green.

The EV can recharge while you're waiting for your Big Mac. Source: Supplied
The EV can recharge while you're waiting for your Big Mac. Source: Supplied

“We hope Restaurant 1000 will allow us to learn quickly and expand successful innovation trials, so we can continue to implement practices, equipment and products to improve our environmental impact,” Diana Grosmann, National Director of Development, McDonald’s Australia, said.

Ms Grosmann said the ultimate goal is to continue to design and build commercially practical sustainability solutions into every new Macca’s restaurant opening in the future.

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