Knowing When to Throw in the Styrofoam Towel

McDonalds Styrofoam PackageFighting public opinion can be tough, as McDonalds found out a few years back. Environmentalist groups had been pressuring McDonalds to change from using Styrofoam packaging to paper. They alleged that Styrofoam was contributing to landfill problems because of Styrofoam’s long life.

The President of McDonalds at the time, Ed Rensi, disagreed and hired archaeologists from the University of Arizona to conduct extensive research into the landfills. They concluded Styrofoam had little, or nothing, to do with the impact or contribution of the landfill problem, especially McDonalds packaging.

McDonalds tried to share their findings with the news media, but found it difficult for them to pick it up. It just seemed that it didn’t fit the narrative of what the news media thought was environmentally correct.

After months of trying to change public opinion and the news media, President Ed Rensi angrily realized he just was not going to change public opinion. He ultimately switched McDonalds from Styrofoam packaging to paper packaging.

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