The announcement follows news that the government is planning to ban the sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds from sale in England.
McDonald’s will begin to withdraw plastic straws from sale in September.
It follows a successful trial at a handful of venues from April. It was reported that customers reacted positively to the change and were enthusiastic about protecting the environment.
The global fast food chain has 1,361 restaurants in the UK.
Burger King, Wagamama and JD Wetherspoon have all ditched plastic straws in the last year.
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.
“The 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.”
The chain has been working with start-up Transcend Packaging, based in Wales, and Huhtamaki, an international company that will produce the straws in Belfast.
The replacement straws will use paper from sustainable sources, the company said.
McDonald’s is testing alternatives to plastic straws in Belgium, France, the US and Norway and in parts of Latin America is only offering plastic straws on request.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the initiative was “simple but effective” and is a “fine example to other large businesses”.
:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com