Is McDonald's Following Bush's Environmental Policy?

My local McDonald's started serving food in white bags again. I got worried that they were giving up on recycling altogether now that Bush has given the go-ahead to rape our nation's forests and natural resources.

So I wrote McDonald's:

Your stores in my area have recently switched from the brown recycled paper bags to white bags without the recycle symbol. I would like to know if these new bags are as envionmentally friendly as the old bags? Certainly they are much prettier and remind me of the old days when everything was stark white. Was the change made for purely marketing reasons? Are the new bags also made from recycled material? I was under the impression that bleaching was required to make white paper and this was generally not a good thing for the environment. How do you justify this change?

Barry Wilson

And they wrote back: (Note the date. It could be a joke.)

From: <>
Date: Tue Apr 1, 2003  9:37:19  PM US/Pacific
Subject: Message from McDonald's Corporation

Hello Barry:

Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's. We appreciate customer feedback and welcome this opportunity to share some information with you.

For a limited time this year, we will bring back our traditional "white bags" that we first used to serve our customers to-go orders. These bags symbolize the unique vision and abilities of our founder and remind all of us of our strong heritage. Our promotion will feature two versions of our original white bags:

  • The first version celebrates McDonald's history with the original Speedee Arches on one side and the new Arch on the other.
  • The second version of the white bags features a message that will direct consumers to a web site where they can learn about the social responsibility efforts McDonald?s has taken to honor Ray Kroc's fundamental belief that our restaurants should be good neighbors.

The White Bag messages on McDonald's social responsibility commitments are only a part of the overall campaign.

Additionally, our standard brown bags are the most environmentally friendly alternative. Our use of the white bags is a short-term initiative to honor Ray Kroc and his legacy. McDonald's remains steadfast in our environmental commitments. We will return to our standard unbleached, recycled-content bags by mid-year.

I hope I have addressed your question. Thank you again for your e-mail. We value you as a customer and look forward to serving you again soon.

McDonald's Customer Satisfaction Department

I guess they sound sincere. I don't know how much damage six months of bleached bags is going to do to the environment. Probably not much compared to the easing of restrictions on industrial pollution that Bush has allowed.



NOTE: But now it is 2005 and my local McDonald’s is still handing out bleached white non-recyclable bags. And Bush…he’s trying to start the world’s largest tire fire.

The bags never went back to being recycled.