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

Anita Rani in War on Plastic
Anita Rani in War on Plastic (Image credit: BBC)

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 (Image credit: BBC)

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

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.