Parents sometimes rely on McDonald’s for a quick meal for their children. That’s why the fast-food chain offers up Happy Meals, which are small packaged meals that contain either a burger or chicken nuggets and fries along with apple slices and a drink. However, kids are often most excited to get a Happy Meal because it comes with a free toy – but now parents are furious with McDonald’s for doing away with all plastic toys in exchange for cardboard ones to be more environmentally friendly.
Across the fleet of McDonald’s locations, parents are making it very clear on social media that they are furious with McDonald’s for getting rid of their plastic Happy Meals toys. Parents claim that the new cardboard toy versions are simply “awful” and are a waste of time and money. One dad went so far as to say that his children “used to love the old toys, now they just throw them in the bin.”
Because McDonald’s got rid of their plastic toys to help generate less plastic waste in the world, they decided to opt for cardboard toys instead. However, parents are now urging the fast-food giant to use recycled plastic toys – and make the toys recyclable themselves – so children can get a toy that is worth the rising price of the Happy Meal and not a piece of junk that gets trashed as soon as it gets taken out of the packaging.
Dad Philip wrote: “The cardboard toys are awful. I also dispute that it was plastic waste; lots of families kept those toys – you can go into any charity shop and find them years later. Be honest, you saved money and still sold Happy Meals at an increased price point, nothing to do with the environment.”
One mom named Tanya also spoke up about the new McDonald’s toys, saying: “Unfortunately, as good for the environment as they are, it means the new toys are disappointing for the children. They aren’t normally things smaller kids enjoy playing with. And every toy my child has received was quickly destroyed. Would it not be better to use recycled plastic.”
Another parent named Ash said, “The current toys are terrible. They don’t make my child ‘happy,’ which is supposed to be the point of a Happy Meal.”
Richard said, “But the toys you now have are so bad you may as well not bother. My kids used to love the old toys; now they just throw them in the bin.”
Although customers and parents are not happy with the new Happy Meal toys, McDonald’s has made great strides to be a more environmentally friendly fast-food chain, claiming that their move to get rid of plastic toys helped reduce their plastic waste production by more than 890 tons.
McDonald’s was able to recycle old plastic toys to make playgrounds for children for their charity, Ronald McDonald House Charities, which helps families in need.