EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit watch group tracking toxic chemicals in products and wastes, lauded fast food giant McDonald’s Philippines for voluntarily recalling promotional back packs, sling bags and bag tags that contain lead, a hazardous substance.
The voluntary recall will be conducted starting today August 26 until October 24, 2016 by suppliers MZM Souvenirs and F Colors with McDonald’s full support and cooperation as announced by Golden Arches Development Corp., the master franchise holder of McDonald’s restaurants in the Philippines.
The recall was the outcome of the EcoWaste Coalition’s chemical investigation showing lead in the accessible substrate material of the black back pack as it reported to McDonald’s Philippines and US last August 8.
Upon receipt of the group’s notification, McDonald’s immediately contacted the bag supplier, MZM Souvenirs, to halt production while also stopping the distribution of the said bags as giveaway items.
The group’s investigation also prompted the company to test other promotional products resulting to the subsequent expansion of the recall to include McDonald’s red sling bags and red bag tags supplied by F Colors. These items are no longer available in McDonald’s stores.
“McDonald’s made the right decision to promptly retrieve the lead-containing bags and tags as this is necessary for children’s health and well-being. We commend them for the measures undertaken to notify the public and ensure the rapid retrieval of the recalled products for environmentally-sound disposal without incineration,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
Margot Torres, Deputy Managing Director of McDonald’s Philippines, has thanked EcoWaste Coalition for approaching the company with its concerns. ”Nothing matters more to us than the safety of our customers. We have reinforced to our local supplier partners that there must be absolute adherence to the high standards of safety that we uphold at McDonald’s,” Torres said. “These recalled items have not met that standard.”
“We apologize for any inconvenience caused, and we strongly encourage our customers to immediately return the bags and bag tag, so we can have them replaced or refunded,” Torres added.
As per McDonald’s advisory, customers may opt to receive a new bag of a different material or ask for a refund upon return of the bags. As for the bag tag, customers will receive a refund. As a gesture of goodwill, all customers who return any of the bags and/or the bag tag will also receive a free food item and a birthday party discount coupon.
The EcoWaste Coalition had earlier alerted McDonald’s that the black back packs failed the maximum lead limit of 100 parts per million (ppm) for lead in accessible substrate materials as established by the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 2013-24 (also known as the “Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds) also prohibits the use of lead in the production of toys and school supplies, among other things.
Last August 19, the EcoWaste Coalition and McDonald’s had a constructive meeting to discuss the group’s concerns and the recall strategy for the affected items.
For more information about lead, please see: