McDonald's menu items worst for environment

Okay so this is how damaging your McDonald’s order actually is for the environment

One Quarter Pounder does as much harm to the planet as a 10 mile drive

Look, we all love a Maccies. My personal hungover McDonald’s order is not a source of shame, it is a source of pride. 20 chicken nuggets, sweet chilli chicken wrap, fries, Coke Zero and a double cheeseburger. And what about it? It both revives and murders me after every night out. Well, at least it was a source of pride until I saw the statistics on how damaging items from the McDonald’s menu are on the environment, and now I sheepishly feel like I might singlehandedly cause The Day After Tomorrow every time I want a scran. Ever wanted to know which McDonald’s menu items are worst for the environment? This calculator has helped us get a good idea.

There’s a carbon calculator online called Plate Up For The Planet,  and it works out the carbon emissions for each ingredient in the menu items so you can see how much damage your Maccies is doing to the planet. Are you ready to feel a liccle bit guilty?

It’s not good news for the Double Big Mac

Anything meaty on your order is putting you in the environmental bad books – that’s the facts you need. The worst item you can order for the environment is a Double Big Mac, which is the equivalent of taking your petrol car out for a 15 mile drive. All for ONE BURGER. Thankfully the Double Big Mac isn’t a permanent menu addition – but the Quarter Pounder is, and that produces the emissions of a 10 mile drive. A regular Big Mac isn’t great either, with close to an 8 mile petrol car drive equivalent.

Double Big Mac. Via McDonald’s

If you want to be environmentally conscious and still get Maccies, the best options are fries and the McPlant. Chicken options come somewhere in the middle on the McDonald’s menu items that are worst for the environment. Here’s a list of some of the more popular menu items:

  1. Double Big Mac : 4.46kg CO2e – 14.95 miles in an average British petrol car
  2. Quarter Pounder : 2.99kg CO2e – 10.03 miles
  3. Bacon double cheeseburger : 2.87kg CO2e – 9.63 miles
  4. Big Mac : 2.35kg CO2e – 7.88 miles
  5. 20 McNuggets : 2.13kg CO2e -7.15 miles
  6. Chicken Legend with mayo : 0.9kg CO2e – 3.02 miles
  7. Three Chicken Selects : 0.86kg CO2e – 2.88 miles
  8. Fillet O’Fish : 0.82kg CO2e – 2.75 miles
  9. McPlant : 0.29kg CO2e – 0.97 miles
  10. McFlurry : 0.17kg CO2e – 0.57
  11. Large fries : 0.15kg CO2e – 0.5 miles

All of these calculations are not fully official, as they can vary in food production. Nonetheless, it’s greener to cut down on the meat and order the veggie options at McDonald’s, or at least try and get chicken or fish options instead.

A McDonald’s spokesperson told Metro the following regarding the statistics on the worst McDonald’s menu items for the environment: “We take our responsibility around the climate incredibly seriously, and recently launched our Plan for Change which sets out a series of ambitious goals that will help us accelerate our efforts to reduce our impact on the planet. This includes our aim to achieve net zero emissions across our entire business and value chain in the UK & Ireland, by 2040.

“We are committed to leading the change on beef sustainability; Our Better Grazing research project is helping us understand the benefits of using regenerative principals when it comes to beef farming, and we were founding members of both the UK Cattle Sustainability Platform and the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability.”

Featured image via Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash before edits.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• We asked McDonald’s workers what your Maccies order says about you

• Quiz: Create your perfect McDonald’s meal and we’ll tell you your type

• I got drunk and spent over £650 at McDonald’s after a night out