Sisters Ella and Caitlin McEwan, ages 9 and 7 respectively, are taking on two fast food industry giants for the sake of the planet.
The young girls started a petition based on a lesson in school that taught them about how plastic waste effects the lives of animals and drives climate change, CNN reported. What they learned made them immediately think about the small, colorful toys that come in their McDonald’s and Burger King kid’s meals.
“We like to go to eat at Burger King and McDonald’s, but children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea,” the pair wrote for their petition. “We want anything they give to us to be sustainable so we can protect the planet for us and for future generations.
Their Change.org petition to end the not-so-happy mealtime tradition at each chain has 398,485 signatures out of the girls’ 500,000 goal as of Thursday morning, but both of the titans of fast food have already taken note.
“We know our young guests really enjoy their King Jr. meals, and we are working on the development of more sustainable packaging and alternative toy solutions,” Burger King said in a statement. The company has vowed to come up with a sustainable solution by next year, according to CNN.
“In the UK over the next six months our Happy Meal promotions will include a mixture of board games, books and soft toys — which will see an almost 60 percent reduction in the number of hard plastic toys given away in comparison to the first half of the year,” McDonald’s added in it’s own statement.
It is estimated that roughly 150 metric tons of plastic currently resides in the world’s oceans, CNN reported, and pollution created by plastic has shown to be responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 sea mammals and 1 million birds every year.
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