Why Attenborough’s message in the Blue Planet II finale is so important

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Sonya Barber
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The final episode of Blue Planet II was very different to all those that came before: instead of the usual fishy fest, Sir David Attenborough decided to take us out of the water and focus on something very important taking place on solid ground.

The legendary Attenborough finished the series with a powerful message to all those sat watching the show at home.

“For years we thought the oceans were so vast and the inhabitants so infinitely numerous that nothing we could do could have an effect upon them,” he said gravely. “But now we know that was wrong.”

If you, like us, were left feeling motivated to contribute to making positive environmental changes, but aren’t sure where to begin, here are four ways to instantly cut down your everyday plastic use:

Say NO to straws

Forget how many drinks you had this weekend, just think about how many straws you probably used: 500 million straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone. That’s 175 billion a year filtering into landfills (environment) and littering our waterways and ocean. So, the next time you’re at the bar, tell them you definitely don’t need a straw. Or if you really hate drinking without one, invest in a reusable one from

Buy a Mooncup

Periods are a plastic-heavy business: in the UK, every woman uses an average of over 11,000 disposable menstrual products over her lifetime, the majority of which are made up of 90% plastic. And it’s no secret that an estimated 20 billion applicators end up in North American landfills every year – but what can we do about it? We can look for plastic-free sanitary products (Natracare, for example, uses biodegradable materials) or invest in a reusable silicone menstrual cup like the Mooncup for your next period: it’s better for your body, your wallet and the environment. Triple win.

Stop buying bottled water

In the UK alone, every year we use more than 35 million plastic bottles. Get yourself a refillable bottle, stat, and you’ll instantly be saving plastic. We really like 24 Bottles, who claim that every time you drink one of their 500ml bottles, you stop 80 grams of C02 being released into the atmosphere. Buy one now at and download the Refill app, which tells you the nearest place to fill up. 

Don’t forget your toothbrush

You might not have thought about it before, but we all get through a lot of plastic toothbrushes in our lifetime. Over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are produced every year worldwide. Switch to a bamboo one and you’ll never look back. 

Other things you can swap: Fabric tote bags instead of plastic bags, wooden/metal cutlery instead of plastic ones and avoid all products containing microbeads.

Watch Attenborough’s full moving message below:

Images: BBC