When Sir David Attenborough concluded his BBC Blue Planet II television series with a plea to help save the planet from being drowned in plastic, a debate that had previously fallen upon largely deaf ears suddenly gained resonance.
Attenborough’s narration concerned the most heart-rending footage of the series, depicting a baby albatross killed by a plastic toothpick that it had been fed by its mother, who had mistaken it for healthy food.
‘It is now clear that our actions are having a significant impact on the world’s oceans,’ Sir David told viewers. ‘They are under threat as never before in human history… Surely we have a responsibility to care for our blue planet. The future of all life now depends on us.’
It was not a new message but the voice of Britain’s pre-eminent naturalist icon was enough. Suddenly plastic recycling, hardly a new issue, took centre stage as the global news media spread Sir David’s agenda.
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