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Find out what more can be done to reduce plastic waste.
WAR ON PLASTIC WITH HUGH AND ANITA BBC ONE, WATCH ON IPLAYER.
Every minute of every day, the equivalent of a rubbish truck full of plastic is emptied into the world’s oceans. To drive this message home, this three-part series begins with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall overseeing truck after truck tipping their contents over the promenade of a British seaside resort. It’s a stunt, of course, but the shocking truth of the sheer quantity of plastic waste we create hits hard.
‘But I recycle’, you might say. Well, Hugh and co-presenter Anita Rani swiftly shatter any illusions we might have about that. A trip to Malaysia reveals where much of it really goes – illegal dumpsites. “It looks like another planet – a plastic planet,” says Hugh in the show. “These mountains of broken bales and mixed plastics are clearly never going to be recycled.”
Thankfully, however, the programme doesn’t leave us feeling disempowered. It digs deep to find out why we are so hooked on plastic and – most importantly – how we can disentangle ourselves. An entire street in Bristol is set with the challenge of reducing the single-use plastic in their homes, and the difficulties they, and therefore we all, face are unpicked one by one.
The leading UK supermarkets, which produce over one-third of our plastic packaging, have a lot to answer for. “The more I look into this, the more I am utterly convinced that it should be the supermarkets leading the change,” Anita says, following a meeting at Tesco’s headquarters. Nonetheless, watching ordinary people taking small steps to battle these juggernauts and waste less, it left me feeling genuinely inspired to stop making excuses and do more.