|McDonald's Fish McBites are made with sustainable fish. (McDonald's)
McDonald's outlets in the US have become the first fast food chain in the country to carry the blue ecolabel seal of approval from the Marine Stewardship Council for using certified sustainable fish in all its fish-based products.
Starting next month, customers will be bombarded with an aggressive marketing campaign touting the chain's sustainable sourcing of MSC-approved fish to coincide with the launch of its new Fish McBites, or what could be described as mini fish nuggets.
Both their Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and Fish McBites are made with wild-caught Alaska Pollock. McDonald's is one of the largest single buyers of fish in the US.
Under the MSC certification program, fisheries have been assessed by independent scientists on factors such as the health of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the ecosystem and how the fisheries are managed.
The fact that all 14,000 restaurants have met MSC certification means that inspectors have been able to trace the fish sources all the way back through the supply chain to the fishery.
The move in the US follows on the heels of its European division, where restaurants have been serving MSC-certified fish since 2011.
Meanwhile, KFC in France has also taken steps to green their fishing practices and likewise obtained MSC certification for the Twister Fish and Fish Tenders in its 143 restaurants across the country. The products are made with 100 percent sustainably-fished Pollock.
In other McDonald's news, the chain recently unveiled new packaging designs on their carry-out bags and soda cups featuring QR codes which will provide nutritional information. The new packaging will roll out worldwide throughout the year and be translated into 18 different languages.
And finally, the chain has also been piloting late-night breakfast menus in parts of the US such as Ohio, Utah, Massachusetts and California, offering McMuffin breakfast sandwiches and hash browns after midnight, in what could become a national roll-out.