McDonald’s Brings Back Foam Cups Against Shareholders’ Concerns

The burger chain says some Chicago-area restaurants are using foam cups, panned by some environmentalists, for large drinks

Plastic foam cups are available at a McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

Some local McDonald's restaurants are throwing it back to the old days — not with a new menu item, but with plastic foam cups.

McDonald's says some Chicago-area restaurants are using foam cups instead of more environmentally friendly options this summer for large drinks despite pressure from shareholders to phase foam out for good.

The world's largest burger chain previously only used foam cups for iced tea year-round in the U.S., spokeswoman Becca Hary said. She declined to say why it brought the cups back to Chicago or if they were brought back in other cities too.

"This summer, Chicago-area restaurants may be using a large Styrofoam cup to serve their customers select cold beverages," Hary said in a statement. "We continue to work with our suppliers on sustainable packaging options that reduce our sourcing footprint and positively impact the communities we serve."

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Read more on McDonald’s decision to bring back the cups at select locations on Chicago Tribune.