THE Blue Planet II series highlighted the perils plastic poses to the world’s oceans — and now the BBC has vowed to lead the fight against sea pollution.
The corporation is aiming to go plastic-free by 2020 — and will start by removing single-use cups and cutlery from its venues by the end of the year.
It comes after millions of viewers watched veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough’s hit BBC1 documentary showing the damage plastic is doing to marine wildlife, killing and harming species such as albatrosses and whales.
Since the series aired at the end of last year, prime minister Theresa May has pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years.
BBC director general Tony Hall 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.’
A coffee cup recycling scheme is starting at the Beeb’s Salford centre and will be rolled out to all other sites — stopping around 2million single-use containers a year from being used by staff and visitors. The corporation will also discuss with suppliers how it can reduce plastic packaging on the products it buys.
The plastic ban was praised by Greenpeace oceans campaigner Louise Edge, who said: ‘The BBC is already a hero among those of us worried about millions of tons of plastic entering our oceans every year, as Blue Planet II did as much to raise awareness as years of campaigning. But awareness raising is only step one, so it’s really encouraging to see them moving on to taking action.’
The decision comes after the Queen, inspired by Blue Planet II, this week banned plastic straws and bottles from all royal estates.