Burger King has removed all plastic toys from its children’s meals from today after two sisters started a petition.
The fast food chain says the move will save an estimated 320 tonnes of waste annually.
The plastic saved will be used to create new play areas and restaurant items, including interactive trays.
It said the decision was part of a wider commitment to reduce its use of plastic and was “spurred on” by sisters Ella, nine, and Caitlin McEwan, seven, who started a petition against Burger King and McDonald’s using plastic toys in children’s meals.
The Change.org petition the sisters from Southampton set up called on the burger giants to “think of the environment and stop giving plastic toys with their kids’ meals”.
Half a million people have signed it.
McDonalds has said from next month it will give customers the option of swapping plastic toys in its Happy Meals for bags of fruit.
From next year children will be able to swap the toys out for books.
With that initiative, as well as a roll-out of paper straws, the removal of McFlurry plastic lids and plastic from its salad bowls, McDonalds says it will reduce waste by 1,0005 metric tonnes annually.
Burger King UK chief executive Alasdair Murdoch said: “We’re making a start. This is a step in the right direction.
“If it makes other competitors move their practices forward, that can only be a good thing.”
Burger King is also installing amnesty bins in all its UK restaurants for people to drop off any free plastic meal toys, including those given away with confectionary and with children’s magazines.
These will provide the plastic for the new play areas.
Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at skyoceanrescue.com