McDonald's is changing Happy Meal freebies forever – and you'll have to pick either a toy or book

McDonald's is changing Happy Meal freebies forever – and you'll have to pick either a toy or book

July 29, 2020

MCDONALD'S is permanantly changing its Happy Meal freebies from today.

From 11am this morning, children will be able to choose between a toy and a book, rather than automatically getting a toy.

McDonald's has already given away more than 93 million books through their Happy Readers scheme where toys are replaced with books for a six week period each year.

But now the scheme is being expanded so parents will be able to choose a book or a toy every time they purchase a Happy Meal for their child.

Two new books will be available from this morning, Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle and Scooby-Doo and the Werewolf.

McDonald's says that book choices will rotate alongside the toy promotion.

The fast food chain says that the move is designed to help remove over 3,000 metric tons of plastic from the business by 2021.

It says that all hard-plastic toys will be gone for good by next year and instead every Happy Meal in the UK and Ireland will include either a soft toy, paper-based toy or a book.

The introduction of a book option comes as research shows almost half of parents think lockdown has negatively impacted their child’s reading.

A fifth of mums and dads also said they were worried about the continued impact over the summer holidays, with limited access to books whilst schools and libraries are closed.

Michelle Graham-Clare at McDonald’s UK and Ireland said: “The Book or Toy initiative is another example of providing our Happy Meal families with even greater choice – and what a choice to have!

"A brilliant story from some fantastic authors or a fun toy featuring some of their favourite film and TV characters.

“From 2021, we will no longer give away hard plastic toys. We’re testing new packaging solutions for books and toys and constantly reviewing the menu to offer even greater choice to families.”

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