The digital transition of McDonald’s Italy

The digital transition of McDonald's Italy


Use of alternative materials to plastic in packaging, support for communities in protecting the environment and reducing their own impact, recycling and consumer education. They are the veins along which it moves McDonald’s Italy in its strategy for sustainability.

The numbers of the catering group

In the Peninsula for 37 years, the American chain has counted in Italy 670 restaurants, 32,000 employees and 1.2 million customers every day. Since 2019, on the packaging front, the catering group has activated a gradual elimination of single-use plastic in favor of more sustainable materials, such as paper. Today, in the peninsula, about 90% of the packaging is made of paper, 100% certified and recyclable. This is because it comes from “sustainable forests”: for every tree used, three to five are replanted. So it has a environmental impact content in terms of energy, water and emissions consumption. More than 99% of production waste is recycled.

In this perspective, to name a few concrete examples, the elimination of plastic straws (saved 134 million pieces each year), McFlurry spoons (around 20 million pieces saved each year), which today are made of wood, balloon wands (changed to paper saving over 2 million pieces every year) ei beverage lids (140 million). The goal is to reach 2025 with 100% packaging from renewable, certified or recycled sources.

Sustainability of restaurants

Furthermore, in stores, more and more attention is paid to theenergy efficiency. As of 2014 the group has obtained the “Nature” energy and building sustainability certification from CasaClimafor all newly opened restaurants.

In parallel, on the recycling front, the goal is to reduce the amount of waste generated. “We aim to make 100% of our packaging offered to consumers recyclable and promote circularity projects for the majority of waste”, explain the company. “To achieve this, we have long ago introduced new waste containers in restaurant halls and dehors, now more explicit and intuitive so that customers understand the destination of everything left in their tray and started a staff training process”. The new challenge for which McDonald’s is already taking action is the involvement of the consumer himself by making him aware of the circularity.

Local initiatives

McDonald’s initiatives also involve consumers. Between these, “Days Together with you for the Environment”, a project that directly involves licensees, customers and local institutions and which is dedicated to the collection of abandoned waste (known as the littering phenomenon) in the streets, parks and on the beaches. The initiative, organized in collaboration with Assoambiente and Utilitalia, recorded a record-breaking second edition with 5,000 bags of waste collected (the equivalent of over 18 tons), 150 stops throughout Italy (+50 compared to 2021) – which they saw the involvement of 6,000 volunteers, including employees and citizens (+50% vs 2021) – and more than 110 schools, sports clubs and environmental and social associations.

Also noteworthy is the sustainability roadshowwith various appointments in the area – a Rome, Bari, Bologna, Turin, Brescia And Naples – which served to tell the company’s journey towards ecological transition and thecircular economy.


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