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McDonald’s has announced it will eliminate foam packaging from its worldwide supply chain by the end of 2018 and continue its efforts to source its “fibre-based packaging” from recycled sources by 2020.

“While about two per cent of our packaging, by weight, is currently foam, we believe this small step is an important one on our journey,” the company wrote on its website.

The Chicago Tribune reported that this was the first time McDonald’s had committed to a specific deadline for removing polystyrene drink containers from its stores, after initially starting to phase out the material in 2013.

McDonald’s has agreed to end the use of polystyrene foam packaging globally by the end of this year, shareholder advocacy group As You Sow said.

Polystyrene has been widely used for single-use containers across the world for decades, but in recent years its negative environmental and health profile have led major companies to drop it.

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