They're swapping them for paper ones from September

McDonald's is getting rid of plastic straws from its Irish restaurants - and replacing them with paper ones.

The fast food chain will start the phased rollout of paper straws in all of its Irish and UK outlets from September.

The Environment Minister has welcomed the announcement, saying it's a "move in the right direction" to eliminate single use plastics.

Pictures of animals with things like straws and cotton buds have been circulating online for the last number of months and environmental groups are pleading with other businesses to take action.

Image result for seahorse cotton bud

Mindy O'Brien from Irish environmental group VOICE hopes more companies will follow McDonald's example. 'We've all seen the picture of the turtle with a straw up its nose, or the seahorse with a cotton bud, so I think this is a great first step and long may it continue and I hope others follow suit'.

There are also calls on the government to introduce the Waste Reduction Bill which would ban all single-use plastics nationwide.

Oising Coughlan from Friends of the Earth says plastic is virtually indestructible: 'Every single bit of plastic that's ever been made, unless it's been burnt, still exists in some form in the environment, in the sea, in the soil or in landfill, whereas paper breaks down, decomposes and is renewable.