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Bye Bye Fast-Food Toys. Here’s Why.

One British kid says:  “This bites.”  I think it could lead to a truly “happy meal.”

The dramatic end for fast-food toys is happening, already, in England.  British Burger King is set to chop and melt hundreds of thousands of plastic toy figurines, next month.  Recycling plant Pentatonic will melt the toys to make playground equipment and food trays.

For years, environmentalists, educators, politicians and public health advocates have argued that the toys are marketed to children, to make not-so-healthy food more desirable…  which contributes to childhood obesity.

The toys just one troublesome part of the growing concern over plastics in the fast-food industry with straws, cups and take out containers causing extremely damaging pollution.

Burger King has vowed to eliminate toys by 2025.  McDonalds has established a task force, which has recommended to scale back fast-food toy distribution.  Some British McDonald’s now offer a bag of fruit, in place of the toys.

I believe that this is a move in the right direction.  Kids play with them for the duration of the car ride, or less.  The toys get tossed or recycled, anyway.  They are often a vehicle for greasy, spit-ridden sharing of germs, by unwashed hands.  It’s even worse, if they fall on the floor of the car, or elsewhere, get picked back up, put in the mouth, etc.  One of the best changes, I’ve ever seen, was when McDonalds in Chicagoland offered a tiny little book.  The three kids I had in my car LOVED it.  I did, too.  

How do you feel about no toys in children’s meals?  Should America do the same?

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