BBC War on Plastic: How Happy Meal toys and pellet production are piling on to the waste mountain
24th June 2019 | Recycling
The final instalment of the BBC’s War on Plastic highlights just how broken the linear economy is, as Anita focuses on the mountain of free plastic toys from places such as fast food restaurants, while Hugh learns how the plastic industry plans to increase production by 50%. When Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall places the spotlight on a sector and issue, the public tends to take notice. The eye-opening War on Waste series concludes on 24 June with Hugh Anita Rani both outlining how miniscule, everyday objects are in fact acting as the scree in this global mountain of waste.
Earlier episodes have placed the crosshairs on retailers and cosmetic manufacturers. During the first episode, Fearnley-Whittingstall and Rani shed fresh light on the UK’s plastics waste problem – placing the so-called “Big Seven” supermarkets under increased scrutiny over their approach to packaging.
War on Plastic
The second episode focused on single-use plastics in the bathroom, covering the stark environmental impacts of the packaging used for (and in) our toiletries and cosmetics. In their survey of 22 homes on an “average British street” in Redcar, the duo found that, of the 15,774 pieces of single-use plastic packaging amassed between the residents, around one-third (5,241) were bathroom items.
The final episode focuses on the mountain of discarded promotional plastic toys, many of which are freebies from fast food restaurants and magazines. The episode sees two young girls outlining why their petition to get fast food giants such as Burger King and McDonald’s to rethink the environmental impacts of their giveaway toys.
Nine-year-old Ella McEwan and her sister Caitlin, seven, have an online petition that is raising a lot of interest. “It made us very sad to see how plastic harms wildlife and pollutes the ocean, and we want to change this,” the petition reads, which has had more than 167,000 signatures at the time of writing. The McDonald’s website notes that Happy Meal toys can be recycled, as can any battery-assisted toys.
More information available on the website below