Life is not plastic fantastic – David Attenborough tells us why


By Gwen Ong

Life is not plastic fantastic – David Attenborough tells us why


Sir David Attenborough is a name you’d recognise as the person behind the fascinating Blue Planet series. Over the years, the TV presenter has travelled the world and opened our eyes to the wonders of the wildlife and ocean. But in his journey, he has also shown us the devastation that plastic has caused on marine life.


When his Blue Planet II series aired a few months ago, many were taken aback by how plastic has flowed into the ocean waters, how albatross parents were feeding their chicks plastic and mother dolphins were potentially harming their new-born calves through nursing them with contaminated milk. Shocking how these lives were affected! 

“We use plastic – or have done until now – with total abandon, without any care or concern about where it’s going to go and what it might do,” said Attenborough in a BBC Radio 4 interview. If this continues, some of the animal species that we take for granted could go into extinction. He warns that the human race will live to regret this if we don’t take steps to protect the natural world.


Every year there are more than 300 million tons of plastic produced globally and out of this, 10 percent will end up in the sea. A report by The Telegraph noted that there is a 1:2 ratio of plastic to plankton, and if this is left unchecked, we’ll be looking at more plastic in the ocean than fishes by 2050. If that doesn’t alarm you, it’s also been found that humans ingest about 11,000 pieces of microplastic each year from eating seafood. Fact is marine animals aren’t able to digest plastic and chemicals tend to leach into the waters. So you can say it comes back full circle into your tummy.


“We have a responsibility, every one of us,” he said. “We may think we live a long way from the oceans, but we don’t. What we actually do here and in the middle of Asia and wherever, has a direct effect on the oceans – and what the oceans do then reflects back on us.”


Let Attenborough’s closing message from the final episode of Blue Planet II serves as a reminder to what our responsibilities are.


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