"Francesca DeBiase, McDonald's Executive VP, Global Supply Chain and Sustainability said: "[We are] committed to using our scale for good and working to find sustainable solutions for plastic straws globally.
Some manufacturers have previously argued against the removal of plastic straws because they are needed by some people with disabilities, children and the elderly.
Varney and his business partners, all stalwarts of the packaging industry, watched as chains including Costa Coffee, Wetherspoons and Pizza Express announced plans to phase out plastic straws in favour of biodegradable paper.
After almost half a million protestors in the United Kingdom called out McDonald's to ditch plastic straws, the high-end food brand has made a decision to end its use by next year. Most people do not necessarily use the straws when it comes to gulping a soft drink.
Plastic straws are the sixth most common type of litter globally, according to Litterati, an app that identifies and maps trash.
Environmental activists welcomed the move.
"In addition to testing alternative materials, in several markets including Malaysia, we will begin tests to offer straws upon request only", the company said in a statement.
But regardless of why the single-use plastic bans are planned, the end result will be better for the environment. A report by the World Economic Forum has estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish. "Indeed, all companies need to urgently take action to reduce the plastic pollution that they have contributed to for decades". "And the food service company Bon Appétit Management, whose 1,000-plus locations in 33 states range from the Art Institute of Chicago to the University of Portland, will stop using plastic straws and stirrers by September 2019".