Multiple councils in the US have recently imposed bans on fast-food drive-throughs after the much-loved feature used by restaurants and other businesses was linked to climate change.

Drive-throughs, which allow a customer to pull up to a business's window in their vehicle while exchanging cash for goods, often fast food, are beloved for their speed and convenience. But they require waiting in a line of other cars, which all have their engines running.

Drive-throughs have recently been linked to vehicle noise, air pollution and litter, and several councils across the US have moved to ban restaurants from adding them to their business.

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In August, the city of Minneapolis in Minnesota in the US banned the construction of new drive-throughs. A city councillor said before the legislation was even passed, the city had already been limiting new construction.

The ban in Minneapolis was attributed to environmental concerns cited in the city's new zoning code, including "vehicle emissions", "air pollution resulting from trip generation and idling vehicles" and "excess paved areas to accommodate vehicle waiting, queuing and manoeuvring". The city has a plan in place to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 per cent by the year 2040, according to CBS.

A six-month moratorium on new drive-throughs was also imposed in Long Beach in California. The ban was imposed in May after council members voted 7-0 to commission a study into how drive-throughs were affecting the community's environment, safety and aesthetics.

Other cities in the US have imposed similar bans on drive-throughs, including Creve Coeur in Missouri and Fair Haven in New Jersey.

In the small town of Orchard Park in the state of New York, new drive-throughs were also banned last month.

In the city of Portland, Oregon, new zoning was introduced last year that enforced restaurants to serve pedestrians and cyclists who wished to use the drive-through, moving the feature away from being a car-only zone.

In contrast in Australia, KFC recently announced a world first drive-through-only outlet, which is a trial concept store with the potential for a rollout across the country.

The outlet, which is set to open later in the year in Newcastle, will feature five drive-through lanes and encourage customers to order through an app or from a screen on arrival.


"It's hard to say where it'll end but definitely food is catching up to the likes of airlines and banks in terms of how customers are starting to access their meals," KFC chief marketing officer Kirsti Woolrych said of the plans earlier this year.

Here in New Zealand, a KFC spokesperson has advised the Herald there is nothing planned regarding either a trial ban on drive-throughs or plans to establish a drive-through only service.