The fast food giant said that it would start using paper straws at all of its 1,361 stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning in September, according to a release.
"Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws", a company spokesperson said.
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.
The activist group SumOfUs estimates that every day, McDonald's alone dispenses millions of plastic straws that customers soon discard, leaving them to litter beaches or clog waterways and fill trash dumps.
The fast-food industry has always been an issue when it comes to the environment, with waste like foam cups, plastic wrap, boxes and more contributing to trash buildup around the world.
It hopes all plastic straws will have been replaced by next year.
In some other countries, straws are being offered on request only.
'We all have a responsibility to our environment and this simple yet effective initiative is a fine example to other large businesses, ' he said.
Burger King, Wagamama and JD Wetherspoon have all ditched plastic straws in the past year. Pizza Express said it would replace all plastic straws with biodegradable ones by summer 2018.
"We want more companies to say no to unnecessary single-use plastics".
Most straws are made from plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene, which unless recycled take hundreds of years to decompose.
An increasing number of businesses are removing plastic straws from their operations in a bid to stem plastic waste which pollutes oceans and harms marine wildlife such as turtles and fish.
The new straws will use paper coming from certified sustainable sources, the company said.
And Tetra Pak - the food packaging company - has said plastic straws serve a "vital" function in cartons and should not be banned.
Some manufacturers have previously argued against the removal of plastic straws because they are needed by some people with disabilities, children and the elderly.
"McDonald's is committed to using our scale for good and working to find sustainable solutions for plastic straws globally", Francesca DeBiase, the company's executive vice president for global supply chain and sustainability, said in a statement.