New Zealand will not be removing plastic straws from McDonald's outlets imminently, according to a report by Radio NZ (RNZ). The United Kingdom has announced plans to regulate the use of plastic ware and straws, as has the EU. At the G-7 Summit last week, Donald Trump did not commit to following the lead of the UK on plastic pollution. But McDonald's announced that they intend to remove all of the plastic straws across more than 1,361 outlets in the UK. They will start in the UK and Ireland this year, and conduct trials in France, Norway and the US, the BBC noted.

'No current plans to get rid of plastic straws' in New Zealand

RNZ cited Simon Kenny, spokesperson for New Zealand McDonald's today (17 June), as saying that "there were no current plans here [New Zealand] to get rid of plastic straws." Nevertheless, he did point out that Taupo, situated on the North Island is currently running a plastic straw test.

The test appears to be going well, and so far is limited to not automatically setting out straws on the table of McDonald's. If they want straws, the customers will need to ask for one. "We've seen a significant reduction in the amount of straws that that restaurant's been using over the last few months, so I think that's probably a vote that people think it's the right thing to do," Kenny said.

Apart from Taupo, there is also a similar test being conducted in Rangiora in the Waimakariri District, of Canterbury, just north of Christchurch.

'Clean Green New Zealand': Tests will probably work with locals

The tests are probably going to work in New Zealand as they have long been involved in promoting the country under the banner of "Clean, Green New Zealand."

New Zealand is well aware of the dangers of pollution to the Environment.

They have beautiful and unique coastlines, and they would like to keep it that way.

McDonald's targets plastic for recyclable products

Plastic straws and other plastic ware will possibly be globally achieved through McDonald's outlets by 2025. But at this time, it looks like New Zealand is not high on their priority list. The BBC notes that the UK outlets of McDonald's "use 1.8 million straws a day." While it is an admirable target, Kenny said that there are some logistical problems with moving across to paper and fibre products instantly.

Recyclable products will take time to test, source and supply.

There are some sceptics that the straw ban will make much difference to ocean pollution

In an opinion commentary, the Chicago Tribune pointed out that the focus on plastic straws may be drawing attention away from a greater problem. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is mostly polluted by fishing nets and fishing gear. If all the plastic straws used in the world ended up in the ocean, it would account for around "0.03 percent of the 8 million metric tons of plastics estimated to enter the oceans in a given year."

Ocean Cleanup is affiliated with some scientists who believe fishing companies and individuals should be held accountable for ocean pollution. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization are working on guidelines to mark all fishing gear.