'The Government's ambitious plans, combined with strong customer opinion, has helped to accelerate the move away from plastic and I'm proud that we've been able to play our part in helping to achieve this societal change'.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has also joined to movement, writing in a recent Instagram post that he's "out on single-use plastic straws".
Given the size of the company's purchasing power, McDonald's says it hopes the shift will "support industrywide change and bring sustainable solutions to scale", said Francesca DeBiase, head of global supply chain and sustainability at the company.
It is the latest company to opt out of some single-use plastic products which can take hundreds of years to decompose if not recycled.
Photo issued by McDonald's of the new paper straws which are replacing the existing plastic straws across all its United Kingdom and Ireland restaurants after a successful trial.
Last week, rival burger chain A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. said it would eliminate all plastic straws from its restaurants by the end of this year.
The company says paper straws, which are more environmentally friendly, will replace plastic ones starting in September.
In America, 500 million plastic straws are used every day.
The replacement straws will use paper from sustainable sources, the company said.
McDonald's isn't the only major straw user to start tossing them aside. "You can think of straws made of paper or no straw at all", a spokesperson said to the broadcaster. In addition to straws, a meal at a fast food restaurant might be served on a plastic plate, with a plastic top, with plastic utensils, wrapped in plastic. The initiative comes after a trial run there, and new paper-straw trials are set for some McDonald's locations in France, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and the US, CNBC notes.