McDonald's Happy Meal Toys Are Changing, Whether Your Kids Like It Or Not

Most of us can probably remember how happy we used to get when we were taken to McDonald's for a Happy Meal. You can probably recall the feeling of excitement you had when could finally start digging through the bag, not for the burger and fries, but to see what fun toy had come along with your meal. 

McDonald's Happy Meal toys have been a longtime childhood staple, and the company has been delivering that same delighted feeling to children for decades. But while McDonald's has no plans to stop including toys in their Happy Meals, our children will have a slightly different toy experience. The company has just announced that it will be taking steps to dramatically reduce its plastic use by offering more sustainable Happy Meal toys. In a recent press release, the company announced a plan to have all its Happy Meal toys "made from more renewable, recycled, or certified materials like bio-based and plant-derived materials and certified fiber" by the end of 2025.

McDonald's has already begun offering sustainable toys abroad

McDonald's has already begun implementing these changes abroad. Locations in the UK and Ireland have started the process of transitioning to more sustainable Happy Meal toys, and France has fully made the switch already. "We only have one planet, so it's a responsibility of all of us to take care of it," Jenny McColloch, McDonald's chief sustainability officer, explained via Forbes.

McDonald's has made changes to be more a sustainable company in the past, announcing in 2018 that it would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 36% in its restaurants and offices between 2015 and 2030 (via CNBC). McDonald's anticipates that this new plan will result in a "90% reduction of fossil fuel based plastic in Happy Meal toys" compared to data from 2018. 

"As you can imagine, our entire supply chain has to change with this. It has been a massive undertaking," Amy Murray, McDonald's vice president of global marketing enablement, told CNBC. And while the new toys might be a bit different, they're still sure to still deliver all the fun one would expect from a classic Happy Meal toy. After all, what could be more fun than helping the planet?