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McDonald’s Canada art series using upcycled plastic straws as canvas

McDonald’s Canada today revealed a series of original works of art commissioned from a cross-country group of Canadian and Indigenous artists who are using trays made with upcycled McDonald’s plastic straws as a canvas to display their artwork. Fifteen artists participated in the program and have created custom designs that reflect the artists’ diverse perspectives on sustainability and the environment.

McDonald's Canada art series using upcycled plastic straws as canvas

In late 2021, McDonald’s restaurants in Canada transitioned to using paper straws from plastic straws, alongside the removal of other single-use plastics, namely plastic cutlery and stir sticks, as part of an ongoing initiative to meet McDonald’s global packaging commitment.

To mark the transition, McDonald’s Canada sought to give a new life to a portion of its remaining plastic straws. The Rogerie, a Canadian company specializing in making everyday products from post-consumer plastics, worked closely with the company to transform these plastic straws into a limited number of trays which have become a canvas for displaying art from Canadian and Indigenous artists.

Participating artists include:

  • West: Nicole Wolf, Ray Dak Lam, Jarett Sitter, Tierney Milne, Justin Currie, Chris Morin, Monika Melnychuk
  • Ontario: Rachel Joanis, Mateusz Napieralski, Ryan Pooman
  • Quebec: Genevieve Andersen, Anne-Julie Dudemaine
  • East: Kirsten Stackhouse, Bella Seonyoung Heo, Elana Camille

The individually designed, limited edition trays will be donated to local Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) Houses across Canada. Houses may keep the tray on display for the families to enjoy, or they may choose to auction off the tray for fundraising purposes.

“In the spirit of reducing waste being sent to landfill, we challenged ourselves to find an inventive and out-of-the-box way to give some of these plastic straws a ‘second act.’ Thanks to these artists, they can live on as something beautiful,” said Gemma Pryor, Senior Director – Canada Impact Team, McDonald’s Canada. “Removing single-use plastic straws from restaurants is just one of the initiatives McDonald’s Canada has undertaken. From reducing napkin size by twenty per cent in 2019, to trialing an electric vehicle as part of the supply chain distribution fleet earlier this year, we’re continuing to explore opportunities to make important changes in the Canadian system.”

McDonald’s Canada is committed to McDonald’s global goal to source 100 per cent of its primary guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by the end of 2025. Removing plastic cutlery, stir sticks and straws will remove approximately 700 tonnes of plastics from the Canadian system annually, approximately 370 tonnes of which are attributed to plastic straws.

You can learn more about the artists, the inspiration to their specially designed artwork, and the making of the Last Straw trays here:

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