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McDonald’s lorries to run on chip fat

Fleet will be powered by recycled cooking oil

McDonald’s is to run its fleet of lorries on converted chip fat after the fast food giant announced its latest green initiative today.

The company pledged to recycle cooking oil used in its restaurants to make environmentally-friendly biodiesel, with aims to use the fuel in all its 155 vehicles in the UK by next year.

McDonald’s said the move will save more than 1,650 tonnes of carbon every year – the equivalent of removing 2,424 family cars from the roads annually, according to the group.

It will initially use a combination of 85 per cent cooking oil collected from its restaurants, mixed with 15 per cent rapeseed oil to create the green fuel.

Rapeseed oil

The announcement comes after a near-year long trial run by the group, which saw 150,000 litres of used cooking oil converted to biodiesel.

McDonald’s delivery vehicles have since been running on 95 per cent diesel and 5 per cent biodiesel.

The company expects to be able to convert six million litres of oil a year to cover the 6.1 million litres of diesel used by its fleet.

It will collect oil from 900 of its 1,214 outlets each week, after which the cooking fat will be taken to a separation tank in East Anglia to remove the food particles before being converted to biodiesel at a plant in Milton Keynes.


Half of the 45-vehicle fleet which operates from McDonald’s Basingstoke distribution centre is to be converted to run on biodiesel from today, with the national roll-out following close behind, although Northern Ireland is not included in the plans yet.

McDonald’s already runs a similar initiative in Austria, where its lorries have been using biodiesel for a few years.

McDonald’s senior vice president Matthew Howe said: ‘Our approach to the environment is reduce, reuse, recycle, and we try to do this in everything that we do.’

Conversion costs

The group has not revealed the cost of converting its fleet, but said that while it would be out of pocket initially, its plans to use biodiesel should eventually see it save money, with the fuel costing less to convert than the price per litre of diesel.

McDonald’s has been upping its green credentials in recent years in response to critics such as Greenpeace.

Earlier this year it started selling coffee certified by the Rainforest Alliance in its UK restaurants and last year agreed to stop using soya from newly-deforested land in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.

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