A GROUP of crew members from the McDonald’s restaurant off the A38 in Haldon Hill, Exeter, has teamed up with Forestry England to clean up their local area with community litter pick.

The event was organised by Forestry England. Seven McDonald’s crew members, including local franchisee David Shawyer, joined forces with a seven strong team from Forestry England and two from Just Eat to pick up litter across Haldon Forest.

The teams targeted specific areas of Haldon Forest that suffer from drive-by littering, such as the road passing Haldon Forest Park, and verges surrounding Chalet and Mamhead woodlands.

During a combined 48 hours of litter picking, they collected an impressive 78 bags of litter, including many empty alcohol containers, plus planks of wood, a bedframe, and a discarded tyre.

The volunteers were split into small groups and maintained a 2m distance to ensure social distancing guidelines were followed. All volunteers wore their own PPE and all equipment was sanitised before and after the event.

McDonald’s franchisee David Shawyer, who owns and operates four restaurants in the local area, said: ‘Like so many in our community, I love Haldon Forest Park and the recreation and open space it provides for all of us to enjoy.

‘My team and I share a joint mission with Forestry England to keep our parks and countryside clean, and I’d like to thank them for inviting us along to the litter pick so we can play our part. McDonald’s is committed to fighting litter issues in local communities and we’re so pleased we could help make a difference in our area.”

Haldon Forest Park Manager, Katy Harrison, said: ‘While most of our visitors and passing drivers take their rubbish with them, litter is an ongoing problem that takes up time and resources we would rather use to improve forest access and facilities.

‘Our team regularly litter picks trails, roads, and gateways around the forest, so we’re pleased to be partnering with our neighbours at McDonald’s to keep these beautiful areas clean for visitors and safe for wildlife.

‘I hope this successful event will be the first of many, while we continue to encourage countryside visitors to leave only footprints.’

McDonald’s crew members have been cleaning up litter dropped in our local communities for over 35 years. Crews across the UK cover a total of 5,000 miles each week on litter patrols (where they collect litter from any origin, not just their own.) This equates to 260,000 miles, or the distance from Earth to the Moon.

McDonald’s is tackling litter in local communities, both by litter picking and reducing the amount of waste its restaurants produce.

The brand has been working to make recycling easier over the past four years, and since 2015 has installed over 1,100 new recycling units, meaning it is easier to separate plastics and cups for recycling in 85% of its restaurants. McDonald’s also collects used oil from its kitchens and turns it into enough biodiesel to fuel more than half of its delivery fleet.