The McDonald's staple you won't see for much longer

Australians will soon be slurping their McDonald’s thickshakes through paper straws after the company announced it would phase out plastic straws over the next two years.

Environmentalists say the move is a step in the right direction.

A trial of paper straws will start in August in two outlets, the fast-food giant announced on Wednesday, and the change will roll out to all 970 restaurants nationwide by 2020.

McDonald’s says the trial is part of a larger, long-term global effort to identify viable, sustainable alternatives to its single-use plastic straws.

McDonald’s announced they would phasing out plastic straws over the next two years. Source: AP

“We know plastic straws is a topic our customers are passionate about and we will find a viable solution,” McDonald’s Australia supply chain director Robert Sexton said in a statement.

Greenpeace Australia applauded the decision.

“It’s wonderful McDonald’s is making a commitment to reducing consumption of single-use plastic and we look forward to seeing more detail around this proposal to see the overall impact,” Greenpeace spokesman Simon Black said on Wednesday.

McDonald’s announcement follows Starbucks’ decision last week to eliminate plastic straws from all stores within two years, citing the environmental threat to oceans.

The McDonald’s paper straws are the same as those it’s trialling in the United Kingdom, a spokeswoman said.