McDonald’s is ditching its McFlurry spoons — here’s why

No one will mistakenly try to drink their McFlurry through its hollow plastic spoon ever again.

On Oct. 24, McDonald’s announced on its internal blog that it would officially be phasing out its most iconic utensil: the McFlurry spoon (aka spindle). The change comes as the popular frozen dessert celebrates 26 years of offering customers its sweet icy treat as well as confusing them with its serving tool.

“McDonald’s McFlurry® spoon: It’s hard to think of a utensil that’s been the focus of more intense debate over the years. Why is the handle hollow? Is it a spoon, a straw, or both?” reads McDonald’s blog post.

According to McDonald’s, the spoon was created by an employee at one of McDonald’s suppliers, Flurry International, in 1995. Since the dessert’s official introduction in 1997, people have been confused, bewildered and befuddled about the square and hollow-handled spoon. In May 2021, McDonald’s went so far as to give a free Caramel Brownie McFlurry to customers who have mistaken the spoon for a straw.

McDonald’s says “true McFlurry fans know the spoon doubles as a spindle,” a tool the chain’s workers have used to attach to a machine that stirs toppings into its soft serve. But, no more, as the chain says that, starting this month, the menu item is due for a sustainable glow-up nationwide.

The fast-food chain is nixing the unique utensil for a reusable spindle that’s swapped out and cleaned after each McFlurry is made. No longer will the bulky spoon be used as a mixer and handed off to the customer: Once mixing is complete, all McFlurrys will be served with the same smaller black spoon with which its Sundaes are served, which uses less plastic.

McDonald’s says the change will help reduce single-use plastic waste in its restaurants.

In a similar move, the company announced in September 2021 that it would be reducing the amount of plastic it uses to create Happy Meal toys in an effort to become more sustainable by the year 2025. This included committing to making the toys out of more renewable, recycled or bio-based and plant-derived materials.

The spoon-spindle swap is not the only big change the chain has made recently that’s likely to be controversial to fans. In September, the chain confirmed it would be phasing out its self-serve beverage stations by the year 2032 to create a consistent experience for both McDonald’s workers and their customers at all ordering points, whether that’s in-store or at the drive-thru.

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