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BBC vows to end single-use plastic by 2020

Tony Hall, the BBC's director-general, said he wanted the BBC to lead the way. Photo: BBC

The BBC has pledged to end single-use plastic throughout its operation by 2020.

The move follows an episode of BBC1’s Blue Planet, which highlighted the damage single-use plastic is having on our oceans.

Announcing a three-step plan, the BBC said it would be free from single-use plastic by 2020. This will extend to catering on its own production shoots.

Ahead of its 2020 deadline, it said it will have scrapped plastic cups and cutlery across its sites by 2018 and that plastic containers will be removed from its canteens by 2019. This will start with a pilot in its Salford base.

The BBC said any new contracts that come up for tender will include the requirement to cut single-use plastic.

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

Last month, the Lyric Hammersmith outlined plans [1] to reduce its single-plastic use.