Thursday 18 April 2024
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Bbc announces three-step plan to cut out disposable plastic coffee cups

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LONDON – The BBC has revealed a three-step plan to cut out single-use plastics from its operations. These steps include eradicating cups and cutlery by the end of this year, and plastic containers by 2019.

Ultimately, the company aims to be entirely free of single-use plastics by 2020.

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The BBC brought the problem of plastic pollution to the attention of many people with Blue Planet II, a series that emphasised the pervasive damage caused by plastic in the marine environment.

Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down in the environment, and it poses a threat to animals that may mistake it for food or become entangled in it.

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Tony Hall, BBC director-general, said:  “Like millions of people watching Blue Planet II, I was shocked to see the avoidable waste and harm created by single-use plastic. 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.”

Trials are already being rolled out to cut down on plastic at certain BBC sites, with a pilot scheme set to take place in Salford this month in which plastic containers are removed from canteens.

In addition, the company will hold talks with suppliers and services in the coming months to assess where further changes can be implemented.

One item on the agenda will be coffee cups, which are also the focus of The Independent’s Cut the Cup Waste campaign. The UK gets through 7 million plastic-lined disposable coffee cups every day, the vast majority of which cannot be recycled due to the lack of specialist recycling facilities.

The new announcement follows a string of pledges from businesses and regions in the UK to eradicate single-use plastics. Supermarkets such as Asda and Iceland have stated their intention to cut back, and the Scottish Government has laid out plans to get rid of cotton buds and straws.

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