Plastic straws: McDonald's is putting an end to plastic straws | Photo: Shutterstock

McDonald's announced that its restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland will put an end to plastic straws in 2019.

The American fast food company is also trialing alternatives to the single-use plastic item in Belgium and select restaurants in the United States, France, Sweden, Norway and Australia.

The decision is a response to a global online petition named "McDonald's is polluting our oceans" which was signed by 500,000 people.

According to the fast-food chain, the phased transition to paper straws will affect 1,361 McDonald's restaurants in the Britain and Ireland.

The company's clients in both countries consume around 1.8 million plastic straws per day.

"Our goal is to source 100 percent of guest packaging from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025 and to have guest packaging recycling in all restaurants globally," the company tells in an official statement.

McDonald's also confirmed that it will also begin tests to offer straws upon request only in several worldwide markets, including Malaysia.

The world's largest restaurant chain was founded on May 15, 1940, in San Bernardino, California. McDonald's serves over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across 37,000 outlets.