Greenpeace drapes whopper-sized ad banner over Leicester Square Burger King

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Greenpeace climbers have appeared on the roof of Burger King's iconic restaurant in London’s Leicester Square to unfurl two giant banners denouncing the fast-food giant's links to Amazon fires and deforestation.

Two ten by six metre banners reading “Fast Food Fries Forests” and “Burger King Flame Grilling the Amazon” now cover the whole facade of the building above the restaurant’s front doors. 

Spider monkey performers 

Customers and passers-by are being greeted by eight specially-trained performers dressed in lifelike white-cheeked spider monkey costumes accompanied by volunteers who are serving up the truth about Burger King's smoky record on deforestation.

"The Amazon is still burning, yet Burger King keeps buying meat and animal feed from the companies responsible for the crisis. Their burgers are flame-grilling the Amazon”, Greenpeace head of forests Richard George said.

The action comes just a week after Burger King UK’s CEO, Alisdair Murdoch, accepted an award from Greenpeace at a restaurant conference in London for flame-grilling the Amazon rainforest. 

Amazon ablaze

Tens of thousands of blazes have engulfed huge tracts of the Amazon rainforest and surrounding areas this year. According to data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, between January and August 20, the number of fires increased 145% compared with the same period in 2018.

Flame grilled: Burger King roasted by Greenpeace over Amazon link

Globally, Burger King’s soya and meat suppliers are complicit in Brazilian rainforest destruction, the environmental group said. Among them are JBS and Marfrig, two of Brazil’s biggest slaughterhouses, notorious for their role in destroying the Amazon to graze cattle. 

Burger King’s soya suppliers Cargill and Bunge have been fined for destroying forests in the Brazilian Cerrado, Greenpeace claimed. 

Although Burger King claims most of the meat it sells here is from the UK and Ireland, much of it is still fed on soya, Greenpeace said. Soya is the second largest driver of deforestation globally, much of it comes from Brazil and 90% of it goes into animal feed.

Timed for Climate Week  

The Greenpeace protest takes place on the fifth anniversary of the New York declaration on forests - an agreement to end deforestation signed by dozens of governments and corporations in 2014. 

It’s also the first day of UN Climate Week in New York, which UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is attending.

“Growing demand for meat from fast food giants like Burger King is leading to vast areas of Brazilian forests being destroyed for cattle ranches and animal feed”, Greenpeace’s George continued. 

“Burger King must stop buying meat and soya from Brazil until the Amazon and its people are protected.

"Global brands like H&M, The North Face and Timberland have already stopped sourcing leather from Brazil until they can be sure their products do not contribute to environmental destruction. 

“It’s now time for the biggest fast food companies to stand with the people of Brazil and say no to Amazon destruction."

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