Edie calls on McDonald's to scrap plastic toys

June 28 2019
Edie calls on McDonald's to scrap plastic toys

MEET Edie Whitehead, possibly the city's youngest environmental campaigner.

Although she is only eight she has already challenged McDonald's on their use of plastic.

Edie, who lives in Fishponds, sent an email to the fast food giant asking them to remove plastic toys from their children's Happy Meals.

After receiving a response, Edie launched a online petition against their use of plastic toys, which has now been signed by more than 1,000 people.

In Edie's original email she asked Victoria Hodson, vice president business and strategy, to consider offering collectors' cards instead because they are kinder to the environment.

The Fishponds C of E Academy pupil wrote: “I am really worried about the fish. I learned a sad fact at school that it is thought that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, so I think you could have collector cards instead of plastic toys in your Happy Meals. I think kids will be more excited to go to McDonald's. It would be kinder to the environment and l think parents would like it too.”

Edie received a reply, although not from Ms Hodson, saying McDonald's was working to reduce the amount of plastic
in their Happy Meals and that they offer book promotions during the year where toys are swapped for books. But for Edie, this wasn't good enough.

She sent the fast food retailer a handwritten letter saying: “Thank you for your reply. I am a bit upset that Ms Hodson didn’t write a reply.

“I love the idea of your books, could you do them more often? I am very happy that you like my idea of collector cards.

"Could you give people a choice of plastic toys or collector cards? I think you would be surprised, KIDS

"If you can’t do collector cards, maybe you could ask us if we want a plastic toy on your screens.

"The plastic toys can be recycled but people have told me that they just go in the bin. Please could you pass this letter to Ms Hodson.”

Although Edie sent her letter on May 31, she is still waiting for a reply.

Mum Ann said Edie started the petition as part of her 'Speaking Out' Brownie badge at the 55th Fishponds Baptist group.

“Edie was really upset after watching Blue Planet and she's become really aware of the world around her," said Ann. "Seeing the children protesting about climate change has made her think if they can make a difference, then maybe she can.”

Edie letter

Edie's head teacher, Debbie Coker, said: “I love the fact that Edie has been confident enough to take a stand on something that she feels strongly about. As a school, we encourage all of our children to think about their world and to be courageous in believing that they can make a difference no matter how old they are.”

A spokesman for McDonald's said Victoria Hodson no longer works for the company, which might explain the delay in responding to Edie. He said he would now look into the matter.
You can see and sign Edie's petition here.