BBC takes action on plastic

The broadcaster has announced a plan to remove single-use plastic from its operations by 2020.

Bunte Trinkhalme aus Kunststoff Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland, 26.11.2012 | Automated translation: Colorful drinking straws, plastic Ulm, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, 26.11.2012 
(c) Walter G. Allgöwer/JOKER (Tel: +49 228 462036, PB Kln Kto 112 45 509, BLZ 370 100 50, www.jokerphoto.de, info@jokerphoto.de) 
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The BBC has announced plans to replace single-use plastics © JOKER / Walter G. Allgöwer / ullstein bild / Getty

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A three-step plan was revealed this week for reducing plastic at the BBC, including replacing the two million plastic cups used every year by visitors and staff.

“Like millions of people watching Blue Planet II, I was shocked to see the avoidable waste and harm created by single-use plastic,” says Tony Hall, BBC director-general. “We all need to do our bit to tackle this problem, and I want the BBC to lead the way.”

“Scrapping throwaway plastic cups and cutlery is the first step, and with our plan I hope we can have a BBC free of single-use plastic altogether.”

The popular programme Blue Planet II highlighted the effect of plastics on the world’s oceans, and added to increasing concerns among the public about the use of plastic.

The Scottish Parliament recently banned plastic straws in its cafes, bar and canteen, and there are a number of campaigns to ban them in cities across the UK.

In addition to removing plastic cups, the BBC’s plan reveals that plastic cutlery will be scrapped by the end of 2018, and plastic containers by 2019.

The BBC aims to be free of single-use plastics completely by 2020, and has commissioned a special programme for BBC One.

Presented by wildlife presenter Liz Bonnin, the progamme will examine the world’s plastic problem and potential solutions.

BBC Wildlife Magazine and its publisher are actively looking for alternative environmentally-friendly wrapping for its subscriber issues. For now, the plastic wrapping can be recycled at carrier bag recycling points (usually found in large supermarkets), and our news stand issues do not have plastic wrappers where possible. 

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Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine