Our blue planet is facing one its biggest threats in human history.
Trillions of pieces of plastic are choking the very lifeblood of our earth, and every marine animal – from the smallest plankton to the largest of mammals – is being affected. But can we turn back this growing plastic tide before it is too late?
In this 90-minute special, wildlife biologist Liz Bonnin visits scientists working at the cutting edge of plastics research. She will work with some of the world’s leading marine biologists and campaigners to discover the true dangers of plastic in our oceans.
Liz travels 10,000 miles to a remote island off the coast of Australia which is the nesting site for a population of seabirds: flesh-footed shearwaters. Newly-hatched chicks are unable to regurgitate effectively, so they are filling up on deadly plastic.
In America she joins an emergency mission to save an entangled grey seal pup found in some of the world’s busiest fishing areas.
She also visits the Coral Triangle that stretches from Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands to find out more from scientists trying to work out why plastic is so lethal to the reefs.
Liz learns that the world’s biggest rivers have been turned into huge plastic arteries. She travels to Indonesia – where she watches a horrifying raft of plastic rubbish travel down one of the main rivers, the Citarum. Here, 60 per cent of fish species have died, meaning that fishermen are now forced to collect plastic to sell.
Drowning in Plastic, Monday, BBC One, 8.30pm