After nearly half a million protestors in the UK called out McDonald’s to ditch plastic straws, the high-end food brand has decided to end its use by next year. To ensure that the experience of its consumers remains unchanged, the food giant will be switching to paper straws that will be sourced from suppliers from Wales and Northern Ireland.

The decision to use paper straws came after a trial at various outlets and it will be implemented in 1,361 of its outlets in the UK. However, the rest of the 36,000 restaurants of McDonald’s around the globe will remain unaffected.

The plastic peril that has been slowly invading our oceans and ecosystems has emerged as an urgent concern. Since restaurants are one of the leading consumers of plastic materials, this step by McDonald’s has paved the way for other food outlets to move away from plastic.

The food chain is said to begin phasing out plastic in September and complete the process by 2019. Initially, only a few outlets of the chain will have recycling facilities, but the brand promises to install them in all of its outlets by 2019.

Earlier, the UK government had warned that they would be cutting on plastic, especially the single-use plastic items like bottles, cups, earbuds, in an effort to curb marine pollution.