The second series of the BBC's Blue Planet opened with a joyous exploration of our oceans and ended with a chilling warning for anyone who makes, sells or buys plastic packaging. How people react will determine how quickly governments and businesses take action to solve the problem of ocean plastic.

On Sunday BBC1 broadcast the final episode of Blue Planet 2. After a seven-week run exploring the amazing creatures of the deep oceans, the series finished on a downbeat note as David Attenborough meditated on the environmental impact of mankind. Two months previously, P&G unveiled a new packaging formulation for Fairy dishwashing liquid. The new Fairy Ocean Plastic Bottle, produced with recycling experts TerraCycle, is made from 10% plastic collected from beaches and the oceans and 90% plastic diverted from landfill. The connection between these two events is the growing problem of plastic waste pollution. The Ellen MacArthur

Foundation has warned that there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. But environmentalists face the challenge of motivating people to push for change. At government level, action on environmental issues is usually proportionate to the strength of public concern.  The public are aware of many issues, but not every issue stimulates action. Many issues are known about and tolerated. There needs to be a strong emotional charge before something gets done. When people are angry or upset, they act. Governments and businesses sit up and take notice. This is where programmes like Blue Planet come in. Viewers welcomed the… read more »