McDonald's collects unwanted Happy Meal toys to recycle into coffee cups in Milton Keynes

A McDonald's restaurant in MK is to trial collection bins for unwanted plastic Happy Meal toys to be recycled into new products such as coffee cups and play equipment.

The fast food giant will collect any plastic toys from its own Happy Meals and also those bought from other retailers - as long as they fit through the 17cm diameter entrance to the bins.

The plastic toys can be recycled

The plastic toys can be recycled

The initial trial will run for four weeks in seven restaurants in the UK and Ireland, including the one at Kingston in Milton Keynes.

The toys will be recycled into new products from coffee cups to bins, outdoor play equipment and vegetable planters to be gifted to communities.

Helen McFarlane, sustainability manager at McDonald's, said: "It is really important we test this to ascertain what customers bring back to us and in turn what we are able to create with the old plastic toys.

"We want to ensure we're creating genuinely useful products from the toys children have enjoyed and finished playing with. This test will enable us to work with our suppliers to create a range of new items, maximising the amount of plastic we can recycle and reducing the need for the creation of new virgin plastic."

If successful, McDonald's will look to roll the move out to all restaurants in 2020.

The trial follows McDonald's announcing it will give customers the option of swapping plastic toys in its Happy Meals for fruit bags or books.