How David Attenborough and Blue Planet made us wake up to ourselves
Author Martin Dorey on 11.02.2018
Are you still reeling from Blue Planet? Me too. I am haunted by the dead whale calf, by the
albatross chicks choked with plastics, by the entangled turtle and by the disaster in waiting that are
the microplastics in our oceans.
“There are real world dangers from microplastics in our oceans”
Blue Planet was truly shocking, even for me. I have found seabirds that have been killed by lost
fishing lures and watched guls fly by with balloon strings wrapped around their legs. I regularly find
rare pink sea fan corals (they are British corals) that have been ripped from the seabed – and
wrapped in bits of net – by trawling. And yet, when I watch Blue Planet I realise that these small
deaths and dramas are just the tip of the iceberg. There are worse tragedies playing out all over the
oceans all over the world. And for every scrap of evidence that we are killing our world I find on my
beach there will be another for every other beach.
Wake up and stop our love affair with plastics.
That’s when you start to see the scale of the problem we face with our plastics. And thank goodness
that the Blue Planet team were able to point it out to us, otherwise we might never wake up and
stop this terrible, destructive love affair with plastics.
Over 17million people, on average, watched Blue Planet in the UK, making it the most popular
television show of 2017 by a long, long way. While no one wants to be confronted with the truth,
especially when it makes uncomfortable viewing, it’s fantastic. We need a wake up call and we need
it now. And if it’s delivered in the urgent yet soothing voice of Sir David, so much the better. When
Sir David Attenborough speaks the world listens.
And maybe we’ll turn to compostables.
Maybe now we’ve seen the truth we’ll turn our backs on plastics and those who produce them.
Maybe we’ll start to vote with our feet and wallets. Maybe we’ll think about the end of life for the
things we buy. And maybe we’ll turn to compostables. And maybe then we can start to live in a
brighter, greener world.
Maybe, just maybe.
Author Martin Dorey – the founder of the global #2minutebeachclean movement, writer and beach lover.