Just weeks after it was reported two sisters from Southampton had gathered a petition of 400,000 signatures against the use of plastic toys in children’s meals, 8 year old Jacob Douglas from Basildon hit the headlines with his open letter to McDonald’s telling them it would really make him happy if they stopped giving out the free gifts as they’re ‘killing a lot of animals’.

On their Change.org petition page Ella and Caitlin McEwan, aged nine and seven, say: “We like to go to eat at Burger King and McDonald’s, but children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea. We want anything they give to us to be sustainable so we can protect the planet for us and for future generations. After we learned about the environment and pollution in school we wanted to do everything we could to help.”

As a result Burger King have stated: “We are trialling the removal of toys and working on the development of alternatives, our goal being to have a more sustainable toy solution in place by 2020.”

McDonald’s reacted by saying “In the coming months in the UK, customers will see more books, board games and soft toys in our Happy Meals – which will see a near 60% reduction in the number of hard plastic toys given away in comparison to the first half of the year.”

You can sign Ella and Caitlin’s petition at https://www.change.org/p/burger-king-mcd-s-save-the-environment-stop-giving-plastic-toys-with-fast-food-kids-meals?

Ella & Caitlin McEwan © bbc.co.uk