Too bad green to check: Guess what can't be done with McDonalds UK's new "eco-friendly" paper straws?

Hint: It’s what could be done with their previous, Earth-hating plastic straws. If you guessed “recycle,” then you’re at least one step ahead of McDonalds UK, which changed its straws under pressure from environmental activists. Thanks to the thickness required for consumer use, McDonalds UK has been putting their new paper straws into the general rubbish dump since switching.

The BBC picked up on the Sun’s story overnight:

MCDONALD’S new “eco-friendly” paper straws cannot be recycled.

Plastic ones were axed in all UK branches as part of a green drive — even though the fast food giant has said they were “100 per cent recyclable.”

But The Sun can today reveal an internal Mac memo admits the new paper versions — hated by customers — are not actually recyclable and must be binned and burned. …

An insider said: “When McDonald’s introduced paper straws it was getting pats on the back for being environmentally responsible.

“But it seems like it was a stunt to appease green campaigners because the things go straight in the rubbish. It’s ridiculously stupid.”

Earlier today, CNN Money followed up and reported McDonalds’ confirmation of the Sun’s report:

But the fast food giant acknowledged on Monday that the new versions are too thick to be processed by its recyclers.

“While the materials are recyclable, their current thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers, who also help us recycle our paper cups,” a McDonald’s spokesman told the UK’s Press Association news agency.

McDonald’s UK and Ireland has not yet responded to CNN’s requests for comment.

McDonalds also added that the current situation is expected to be temporary. They want their recycling partners to come up with a solution to the problem, and they also claim that their rubbish does not go to landfills but to “generate energy.” Besides that, though, just how many of its straws ended up in refuse handled by the company anyway? There is certainly a huge business in in-store dining, but at least as huge in drive-thru or “take-away” business. Straws sold from the latter probably ended up in general refuse anyway, more often than not, and at least paper straws break down faster under those circumstances.

Still, as former UK climate-change secretary Ed Davey told the Telegraph, it’s tough to decide whether this was just “a monumental cock-up” or a more sinister attempt to “greenwash” the company. It looks more like the former than the latter, especially since McDonalds UK apparently never even bothered to argue that its plastic straws were recyclable and not ending up in the ocean, the main concern over their use. Rather than make a nuanced case about their consistent concern over the environment, they caved under pressure. That let the environmental activists pat themselves on the back while actually making the situation worse. It’s tough to believe that any company would allow that kind of egg to drip off their face, let alone the corporation behind the Egg McMuffin.

This might have been “ridiculously stupid,” but it’s not the most ridiculously stupid story in today’s news. That distinction belongs to Clauvino da Silva, a Brazilian gangster who attempted to escape prison by having his 19-year-old daughter remain in his place. The frontrunner for Father of the Year (Hoosegow Category) got humiliated by prison officials who grew suspicious of the teenager’s nervous energy and, presumably, frozen sex-doll face. You don’t need to understand Portugese to get the gist of this gender reveal. The unhooked bra was a nice touch, though.