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Many of us have marvelled at Blue Planet 2. It has taken us on a journey to the deepest, darkest areas on Earth, and it has helped us to discover the wonders of the sea.

But it has also shown us the horror that plastics are causing in our oceans. In episode four we watched a whale mourn the death of its newborn, after the calf was believed to be poisoned by its mother’s polluted milk.

Sir David Attenborough tells us during Blue Planet 2 that this whale’s loss might be due to food chain contamination with toxic plastic, as we “dump eight million tonnes of plastic into the sea every year.”

Many of the sea creatures we love – birds, fish, turtles and whales – die because of the plastic that’s suffocating our seas. On Blue Planet 2 we can see the damage plastic is doing, it’s a sobering example of our footprint on Earth.

But what can we do to help?

We need to act now – there’s no time to waste. Things like bottle deposit schemes are a good place to start, but we’re so reliant on plastics that we need to do a lot more to wean ourselves off them. A plan to ban single use plastics – such as plastics cups and cutlery – could make the real difference we need to protect the planet.

We also need businesses to take the issue seriously. Whether it’s supermarkets having a plastic free aisle or companies finding alternatives to plastic packaging. You too can make a lifestyle change, from recycling more to drinking from reusable water bottles.

You might think your contribution is small, but together our collective action is powerful.