• Daniel Tihn

McDonalds Saving The Environment: How The Famous Fast Food Franchise Is Saving The World

When you think about McDonald's, many words come to mind. Chicken nuggets might be at the top of most people's lists, but environment usually wouldn't be. Think again mon ami. McDonalds have been putting efforts into helping the environment for years, specifically when it comes to air quality and the fumes that are causing air pollution. But how is the massive chain reducing its carbon footprint? Well, it's quite simple really, all they're doing is recycling.

Recycling Cooking Oil

For the past 11 years, McDonald's in the U.K. have been recycling their cooking oil. When I say recycling, I don't mean that they are using dirty oil to cook their food, I mean that they are taking their cooking oil and finding a completely different use for it. And that's fuel. By cleaning the oil and making it ready to be used as a Biodiesel, McDonald's are powering their delivery lorries all around England, reducing their Carbon Dioxide emissions by 7,000 tons every year.

Not only has this been implemented by our British friends, but since last year, India has followed suit. Hardcastle Restaurants, who own McDonald's in West and South India, are recycling their cooking oil to power their delivery trucks all across Mumbai, servicing 85 restaurants. Converting 35,000 litres of cooking oil into Biodiesel, not only are the vans being powered by the fuel but even the fridges and cooling systems on them are supported by this recycling revolution.

Thanks to the new system, 420,000 litres of crude oil is being saved annually, and that is only for 85 restaurants. With Hardcastle Restaurants looking to expand to over 400 places in the near future, the environmental impact can only grow.

Turning Cooking Oil Into Biodiesel?

To be able to turn cooking oil into Biodiesel isn't the easiest thing in the world, especially since it literally has food in it. While it isn't as hard as splitting the atom, there are few long and tiring steps to get it ready to be used by McDonald's.

  1. The oil is collected into a container and that is then collected by a vacuum truck and taken to a filtering plant.

  2. The raw oil is then heated to dry out the water.

  3. It is then filtered through multiple sieves and ultra-fine filter cloths to get out any debris from the oil.

  4. Voilà, the oil is ready to use.

McDonalds are looking to spread this method to multiple countries around the world after the success that has been India and U.K. Maybe we will see it on our own Maltese streets in the near future. Or maybe we won't. One thing for certain, we certainly have enough cooking oil to power any and all McDonald's trucks on our tiny island.

Tell us in the comments what you think about driving on cooking oil instead of dead dinosaurs 🛢