Sixteen years after the release of the first series, David Attenborough is now working on Blue Planet II, the second part of the stunning nature documentary The Blue Planet. Given the in-depth focus of the series, it would be hard to imagine that the impact of plastic on our oceans wouldn’t be mentioned or given air-time – and this is what the series has just done. David Attenborough, the beloved naturalist and broadcaster, is urging action on this critical issue – and sharing just how alarming the threat of plastic pollution really is.
Blue Planet II is going to show to the public the real impact that plastic and our overuse of the material has on the planet’s oceans and their wildlife. During the launch of the series, Attenborough stated that action on plastics needs to be taken immediately, The Guardian reports, and that humanity now holds the future of the planet “in the palm of its hands.”
In fact, Attenborough lists rising global temperatures and plastic as the biggest concerns for the oceans right now. “What we’re going to do about 1.5 degrees rise in the temperature of the ocean over the next 10 years, I don’t know, but we could actually do something about plastic right now,” he said. “We have a responsibility, every one of us.”
According to The Guardian, Blue Planet II, a seven-episode series, first of which is going to air on BBC One on October 29, is going to include evidence that plastic waste has already flowed thousands of miles from land and show heartbreaking stories of albatrosses unknowingly feeding their young pieces of plastic.
“There are so many sequences that every single one of us have been involved in – even in the most peripheral way – where we have seen tragedies happen because of the plastic in the ocean,” Attenborough said. “We’ve seen albatrosses come back with their belly full of food for their young and nothing in it. The albatross parent has been away for three weeks gathering stuff for her young and what comes out? What does she give her chick? You think it’s going to be squid, but it’s plastic. The chick is going to starve and die. There are more examples of that. But we could do things about plastic internationally tomorrow.”
Attenborough’s striking comments are a clear call to action – we need to make a change. Every year around 8.8 million tons of plastic waste get dumped into the oceans and 700 marine species are threatened with near extinction as a result scientists warn that there will be more pieces of plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. To make matters worse, a majority of the world’s tap water has been found to contain microscopic bits of plastic and this horrible reality won’t end until the use of plastic does.
We should all follow David Attenborough’s lead and spread the word about the devastating impact of plastics. To learn how to use less plastic in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
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