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McDonald’s to roll out national policy after refusing to fill reusable cup

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A McDonald’s sign is seen above the fast food restaurant on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 near downtown Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

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    TORONTO — McDonald’s Canada will roll out a new national policy in February allowing customers to use reusable mugs for coffee and tea. The announcement comes on the heels of one of its restaurants refusing to refill an Ontario man’s travel mug.

    Last week, CTVNews.ca reported on Matthew Boeckner who said a McDonald’s restaurant near Brighton, Ont. told him he’d have to use one of the company’s disposable cups if he wanted a coffee. Boeckner refused and left the store.

    “This is something I do all the time — it didn’t make a whole lot of sense,” Boeckner previously said in a telephone interview with CTVNews.ca. He felt the use of reusable cups is part of a growing number of customers’ “desire to be better for the environment.”

    Currently, franchise owners across Canada can decide whether or not they accept people’s reusable mugs at the driver-thru or in the restaurant, McDonald’s Canada spokesperson Ryma Boussoufa said in an email to CTVNews.ca on Wednesday.

    McDonald’s Canada says it will roll out a national policy for all its restaurants and McCafé locations “which will enable guests to purchase McCafé brewed coffee and tea using their own reusable mug.”

    Boussoufa also acknowledged the use of reusable cups as an “area of growing importance to Canadians.”

    The spokesperson said the company had been conducting an “operational test around reusable mugs this month at our two Green Concept Restaurants in London, Ont. and Vancouver, B.C., and McCafé standalone locations.”

    An earlier email from the company had revealed it was “assessing a new policy around reusable cups and that McDonald’s Canada was working towards “sourcing 100 per cent of guest packaging from renewable and/or recycled materials.”

    According to figures from advocacy group “Carry Your Cup,” if the average consumer uses one disposable, single-use cup each day, they go on to create about approximately 10 kilograms of waste each year.

    One current figure estimated that the average Canadian produces 720 kilos per capita of waste — which is about twice what is produced per capita in Japan, and approximately 10 times what is produced by a half-dozen African countries.

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    • Matthew Boeckner

      Matthew Boeckner says he was shocked and confused after a McDonald’s restaurant in Brighton, Ont. refused to serve him coffee in his reusable mug.

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