The move to paper straws will be completed next year.
And a group of more than 40 companies including Coca-Cola (KO), Nestle (NSRGF), Unilever (UL) and Procter & Gamble (PG) pledged earlier this year to slash the amount of plastic they use and throw away in the United Kingdom.
The Marine Conservation Society said about 70% of litter on beaches was made of plastic with items such as straws, cups and stirrers making up over 20% of the litter.
McDonald's is the latest in a string of high street names in the process of replacing plastic straws with paper or biodegradable ones, including Costa Coffee, Wetherspoons and Pizza Express. In May, McDonald's shareholders overwhelmingly rejected a proposal asking the company for a report about the business risks associated with plastic straws.
"Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws", McDonald's was quoted as saying by the BBC.
In America, 500 million plastic straws are used every day.
It comes after McDonald's moved all its plastic straws behind the counter to "put the decision for use in the hands of the customer".
Editor Shujaat Bukhari of English daily Rising Kashmir killed in Srinagar
He added that he has spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and assured the killers would be punished. Amnesty India called Bukhari a "brave and outspoken voice for justice and equality in Jammu and Kashmir" in a tweet.
A trial of the paper replacements has been taking place at a handful of restaurants since April and was found to be a success, with the majority of customers supporting the effort to protect the environment.
UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove called on other companies to follow the example of McDonald's.
It also plans to test alternatives to plastic straws in its restaurants in France, Sweden and Norway.
NEW YORK McDonalds said Friday it will switch to paper straws at all its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and test an alternative to plastic ones in some of its USA restaurants later this year.
"We want more companies to say no to unnecessary single-use plastics".
Campaigners, such Michaela Hollywood who has spinal muscular atrophy, have urged companies to ensure they are providing alternatives to plastic straws as opposed to an all-out ban, as some disabled people rely on straws in order to be able to drink.