Plastic gives the whole planet the blues


Did you watch Blue Planet II over the winter? I knew it was on, but I was so caught up with work and Christmas that I never watched it.

It wasn’t until the final episode that I started to see it all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

People who never usually post much about the environment were suddenly talking about the amazing creatures that live in the oceans, the clever techniques used to film them and, most of all, the enormous damage that humans are wreaking on them through our rubbish, especially plastic.

Well, obviously that caught my attention and last weekend, I finally got a chance to watch the last episode. It’s very powerful – you can see a clip about the impact of plastic on albatrosses on the BBC website.

In some parts of the ocean, there are over half a million pieces of plastic for every square kilometre!

Something that Sir David Attenborough said at the end of the Blue Planet II series struck home for me: “We are at a unique stage in our history – never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet and never before have we had the power to do something about it.”

That perfectly sums up something I’m always telling people. So often I hear people saying “There’s so much waste, the stuff I recycle is just a drop in the ocean” – but actually, what we do as individuals is tremendously important to our planet. The more plastic we each recycle, the less needs to be made. When you recycle plastics at the kerbside in Colchester, they’re processed in the UK or Europe (none goes to China) and turned into new products, helping to protect our environment.

The average UK household produces an entire tonne of waste each year. You have the power to make a big difference!

Sounds like a massive responsibility… but actually, cutting down on plastic is really easy! Because of my relentless nagging, we’ve always recycled a lot in my house, but since hearing about the plastic problems in the ocean we’ve made some more little changes. Now we use (and waste) less than ever!


If everyone reading this uses less plastic, all our little drops in the ocean could add up to a sea of change!  Tell your friends and family and help Colchester to do better.


3 thoughts on “Plastic gives the whole planet the blues

  1. Robert Newman

    The recommendation that bar soap is better is false; current advice is that soap dispensers are more hygenic because infections and germs can be passed on from user to user with bar soap; remember the bar of soap is not cleaned between uses.


    • Hi Robert,
      Thanks for sending me this comment. It’s a really interesting topic and thanks for letting me know about other research I may not have read yet. There’s a lot of articles online about the benefits or drawbacks of both options – with a variety of outcomes. Obviously there is a benefit to reducing waste if you use a bar of soap but I completely understand the concerns that you raise. Everyone will have to weigh up the pros and cons themselves to make a personal decision.


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