Ever gone to Burger King and picked up a free toy for your child or even yourself? You know the ones – the small novelty items that come bundled up with a kids’ meal?
Well, if you did, it’s something you’ll no longer be able to do again as Burger King has scrapped its toy offering from UK restaurants. According to the BBC, the fast food chain has ditched plastic toys from its meals as part of a way to help the environment.
The decision has been made following a petition set up by two school girls who wanted to see Burger King and McDonald’s drop plastic toys from their restaurants. The petition – which received more than half-a-million signatures – has convinced Burger King to rethink its approach to giveaways and from today all UK Burger King restaurants will stop handing out toys.
As a further step, restaurants will also introduce bins into stores for customers to bring in their old BK toys. These toys will then be melted down and recycled to create new items, such as trays.
In a tweet, Burger King’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, Fer Machado, said:
“As of tomorrow #BurgerKing #UK will be removing plastic toys from our kids meals. Bring in ur (sic) unwanted plastic toys to our UK restaurants between September 19th-20th and we’ll recycle them into new ways to play.”
While Burger King has opted to drop toys from meals, McDonald’s has chosen to reduce the amount of plastic toys it gives away, rather than remove the offering completely. The restaurant chain will instead increase the amount of non-plastic items it provides in Happy Meals, including books and soft toys.
McDonald’s is also offering customers a new option with their Happy Meals. Instead of choosing a toy, customers are able to swap the item with a bag of fruit if they wish.
The practice of giving away free toys in meals has been a part of the McDonald’s brand since 1979. Burger King adopted the practice in the early ’90s, initially calling it a Kids’ Club Meal.
Over the years both restaurant chains have produced countless toys, many of which have tied into movie releases and TV shows.