One Man's Trash...

McDonald's is turning its trash into real gold jewelry

The collection includes 14-karat gold and gold-plated pieces made from real garbage from McDonald’s restaurants.

McDonald's Litter & Glamour fry box necklace

McDonald’s’ Netherland locations are dabbling in jewelry with a collection that’s litter-ally garbage. In an effort to call out poor recycling etiquette, the jewelry isn’t just a quirky statement in the shape of its trash; it’s made from real customers’ litter.

Ranging from french fry box earrings to a Big Mac box ring to crushed drink pendants, the collection offers 14-karat gold and gold-plated pieces. It’s a six-piece collection to be exact, dipping sauce not included. Dutch family business De Vaal produced the jewelry, adding expertise from its six generations’ worth of jeweler experience.


Trashy glam — The gold and bedazzled trash is the company’s way of incentivizing clean, eco-conscious habits. McDonald’s kicked off the campaign with a video that asks its customers to better handle their trash. In the 30-second “Litter and Glamour” clip, the red carpet crowd praises someone who throws their trash in the bin and makes the neighborhood “a little more beautiful.”

This isn’t the first time a company has tried to ice out its customers in food-related gems. Hidden Valley Ranch concocted an actual diamond from its ranch seasoning, and even water (yes, water) was recently flipped as a luxury piece.


Greener fast food — In 2020, McDonald’s made up the greatest proportion of litter by brand in England, according to environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. Internationally, the fast food chain produces about three tons of waste per minute. Last year, it announced that 99.6 percent of its packaging came from recycled or certified sustainable fiber sources, a 7.6 percent increase since 2019, but the constant litter still puts strain on the planet.

Select restaurants across the Netherlands will be equipped with special golden garbage bins through September 12. Customers who want to ice out in the McDonald’s jewelry will have to make sure their trash makes it to the bin, which will grant them an automatic entry into a giveaway for the bling.