McDonald's Weird McFlurry Spoon Is Going Away

Say goodbye to that strange spoon with the square handle.

I've eaten plenty of McDonald's McFlurries in my life—I even have some strong opinions on how to order them. There's lots to enjoy about the soft-serve treats, but throughout their 26-year history, there's always been one consistent feature: a weird spoon with a hollow square handle.

McDonald's has announced that starting this month, those spoons are going to start disappearing from McDonald's everywhere. Collectors, take note: that McFlurry spoon you're holding might someday become a high-priced eBay listing.

Why McDonald’s is changing its McFlurry spoons

That squarish McFlurry spoon has been the source of some confusion over the decades. Some people have believed that the McFlurry spoon's hollow interior means that it also functions as a straw. Despite how cool that would be, it simply isn't true, as you might have independently figured out if you ever tried sucking on it to see if melted ice cream would come up through the handle.

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The real reason behind the hollow square spoon's design is that it actually doubles as kitchen equipment. When a McDonald's employee prepares your McFlurry, that spoon clicks onto a mixing machine, and as the device is turned on, it serves as the paddle that stirs your McFlurry ingredients together. Then the employee detaches the spoon from the machine and hands it all over to you. (You can see a demonstration in the video above.)

In theory, this saves an employee from having to clean out the machine's mixing tool every time someone orders a McFlurry. But at the same time, this practice isn't exactly environmentally friendly. The shape and sturdiness of the McFlurry spoon means it requires extra plastic to make, so McDonald's is now switching to a removable, washable, and reusable spindle for its machines to make the McFlurry a little more sustainable. Instead of that square-handled spoon, you'll just be getting the same small black one that comes with every McDonald's sundae.

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Granted, those black spoons are still a form of single-use plastic, so your eating utensil will eventually end up in a landfill. Still, the McFlurry spoon shakeup is all part of McDonald's effort to reduce waste and move toward more sustainable packaging and toy materials.

On paper, this is nice and all. But remember, large fast food corporations don't make changes like this just because they're being nice. Moves like this are a way to rehab corporate image when issues like climate change are becoming too prevalent to ignore. Fast food's carbon footprint is already disproportionately enormous, from the massive amount of packaging down to the very beef that ends up in your burger. It's going to take a lot more than a smaller disposable spoon to effect change in the long run.

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