War on Plastic presenter Anita Rani: ‘We have to do our bit to fight against single-use plastic!’

Anita Rani on teaming up with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to combat single-use plastic in BBC1’s War on Plastic

How easy is it to reduce single-use plastic in our lives? In BBC1’s three-part documentary War on Plastic with Anita and Hugh, Anita Rani and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall challenge the residents of a Bristol street to cut back on plastic in their homes and also explore what businesses and the government need to do to change.

Here, Anita Rani tells TV & Satellite Week what to expect in War on Plastic…

TV & Satellite Week: What is your thinking behind War on Plastic?

Anita Rani: “Single-use plastic is a problem, we’ve reached a critical point. We look at it from the top tier down to see why we have got this issue but we also examine our individual use and where our waste ends up.”

TVSW: How did the residents of the Bristol street get on?

AR: “It’s an interesting experiment and we see how realistic it is to reduce single-use plastic. The residents do things like collecting crisp packets and sending them to a company that turns them into other products. Hopefully this will get people changing their habits and having their own ideas.”

TVSW: What was their biggest challenge?

AR: “The toughest thing was that a third of our single-use plastic waste comes from supermarkets – about 800,000 tons a year. And loose apples or potatoes are more expensive than ones in plastic, so there’s less incentive to buy them like that. We speak to Tesco, who are looking at how they package products.”

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in War on Plastic

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall uncovers British plastic recycling dumped in Malaysia in War on Plastic

TVSW: You highlight problems with recycling too don’t you?

AR: “Yes, Hugh visits Malaysia and he discovers our recycling rubbish is being dumped and burnt there when it’s our councils’ responsibility to dispose of it properly. He speaks to [Environment Secretary] Michael Gove and puts rubbish on his desk and we’ll see what emerges. Governments need to implement changes and give companies a push.”

TVSW: Has the series made you look at your own plastics use?

AR: “Yes, because I’ve probably got 75% of the whole of Britain’s plastic in my house! This has opened my eyes and hopefully other people will see the small changes we can make to cut back. We can be optimistic if we all do our bit.”

War on Plastic with Anita and Hugh airs on Monday 10 June at 9pm on BBC1