I went to McDonald's first net zero restaurant and it's powered by wind turbines

McDonald's fans might be surprised to find wind turbines, electric car chargers and walls made of recycled kettles and keyboards when they pop in to pick up a burger.

The home of the Big Mac is aiming to shake up the fast food world and at this branch in Market Drayton, eco-friendly is firmly on the menu.

Walking up to the the branch, hungry diners will see two towering wind turbines and catch a glimpse of the 92sqm solar panels on the roof, which together power the building.

But these are the only clues that this is McDonald's first ever net zero restaurant.

Standing outside on my visit for a sneak peak at the new site, it looks like any other of the brand's branches.

There's a drive-thru lane, the classic golden arches above the entrance, and inside the smooth, shiny surfaces you'd expect from a McDonald's.

All that was missing was the smell of salty French fries as the restaurant was just hours away from its official launch date of December 10.

If you were worried eco-friendly might mean more pricey, McDonald's is offering free water and even charging points for your electric vehicle.

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It's the first UK McDonald's to install a water fountain to discourage the use of plastic bottles.

And the restaurant is also geared up for more at-table ordering through your phones.

But you'll still be able to order using the usual touch screen machines or at the counter if you'd prefer.

The wind turbines will produce 60,000 kWhs of power a year, reducing the amount of energy the restaurant draws from the grid.

The site won't be completely reliant on its own energy source though – it takes a lot to cook up that many Big Macs a day.

But nearly everything comes from recycled materials, even down to the wall signs made out of coffee beans, kerb stones that used to be 182 plastic bottles, and roads made from old tyres.

Rainwater is even collected from the roof and used to flush the loo – but not to power the water fountain, I was assured!

The Market Drayton store is trialling the changes and will report back to head office on what works well – and what doesn't.

It will be a blueprint for other stores from next year as it looks to reach net zero emissions across its entire UK and Ireland business by 2040.

But it has a battle on its hands as meat production remains one of the biggest polluting industries.

According to Greenpeace, agriculture and deforestation contribute a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The charity says animal farming is responsible for 60% of the emissions from agriculture.

McDonald's has already taken some steps to combat this, adding plant-based options to its menu with the launch of its McPlant vegan burger, which will be available in stores across the country by January.

The Market Drayton restaurant will be selling the meat-free burger from today, boosting its eco-credentials.

McDonald's has also responded to criticism over the amount of plastic used in its Happy Meal toys by replacing packaging with recyclable paper and removing hard plastic toys.

With the net zero store it's clear McDonald's is taking it's green target to the next level, but fans will be pleased the familiar menu is remaining the same – for now.

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