McDonald's Happy Meals now come with a free plastic toy or a book

McDonald's Happy Meals now come with either a free book or toy in an effort to boost children's reading and reduce plastic.

(Image credit: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett)

McDonald's Happy Meals now come with either a free book or toy in an effort to boost children's reading and reduce plastic.

Does your little one's face lights up as soon as they see the free treat inside a McDonald's Happy Meal? We've got some important news...

Instead of automatically receiving a free toy, parents now have the choice between a toy or a book.

This helps work towards the McDonald's pledge to remove over 3,000 metric tons of plastic from the business by 2021. All hard-plastic toys will be removed from Happy Meals by next year.

Fan's are also thrilled that McDonald's Monopoly will be making a welcome return next summer.

The move also comes following research that revealed many parents feel that lockdown negatively impacted their child's reading.

In the same Opinium survey, a fifth of parents said they were concerned this would continue to decline over the summer holidays.

Father-of-three and child author Tom Fletcher and the National Literacy Trust both back the McDonald's campaign.

READ MORE: British couples claim that going for a McDonald’s without your other half is ‘as bad as cheating’

Tom revealed: 'My son loves reading at school with his teachers and friends, which he has been missing over the last few months.

With books being less accessible to some families during the pandemic, I’m sure many other children across the country have been missing reading at school and borrowing books from libraries.'

He added: 'I think it’s amazing that a summer holiday treat to McDonald’s can also now mean a great new story to take home.

Book or Toy is a very timely and important initiative, which will be beneficial to kids and families over the holidays and beyond, encouraging them to read new books at home together.'

Over the past eight years, the Book or Toy initiative has helped Mcdonald's to distribute over 93 million books to families across the UK.

What do you think of the decision to remove hard-plastic toys and will you be opting into a book for your child? Head over to our Facebook page to share your thoughts! 

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.