McDonald's is to replace plastic straws with paper ones across all its outlets in Ireland and the UK after a successful trial.

A roll-out of paper straws in all 1,361 restaurants will begin in September, with the process to be completed next year.

The move comes as pressure grows on companies to reduce single-use plastic products and packaging, amid concerns over plastic pollution in the oceans where items such as straws end up harming wildlife like turtles and fish.

McDonald's said it had found two suppliers to meet its needs for paper straws - a global company called Huhtamaki, which has a production plant in Belfast, and Welsh start-up Transcend Packaging.

The restaurant chain has conducted a trial of the paper replacements at a handful of venues since April, and found customers reacted positively to the change, with the majority supporting the effort to protect the environment.

McDonald's has already taken steps in all of its restaurants in Ireland and the UK to put plastic straws behind the counter to reduce waste.

The new straws will use paper coming from certified sustainable sources, the company said.

The company is the latest to ditch plastic straws, with businesses including Burger King, Costa Coffee, Wagamama and pub chain JD Wetherspoon all making the move away from them.

Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald's UK and Ireland, said: "Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws but to do so without compromising their overall experience when visiting our restaurants.

"Over the past few months we've been working closely with supplier partners to find a solution that works both for our customers, and that the supply is there given the size of our business.

"The [British] government's ambitious plans, combined with strong customer opinion, has helped to accelerate the move away from plastic and I'm proud that we've been able to play our part in helping to achieve this societal change."

Alternatives to plastic straws are being tested in Belgium and trials will begin in selected restaurants in the US, France and Norway.

In parts of Latin America and Malaysia, the company is starting to offer straws on request only.

Francesca DeBiase, executive vice president, global supply chain and sustainability, said: "McDonald's is committed to using our scale for good and working to find sustainable solutions for plastic straws globally.