EVERY single animal washed up on Britain’s shore that was examined by scientists in a new study had traces of plastic in its stomach. The results have been described as “ominous” by anti-plastic campaigners, after all of the 50 beached seals, whales and dolphins included in the study were found to have microplastics – plastic particles smaller than 5mm – in their digestive systems.

This study provides more evidence that we all need to help reduce the amount of plastic waste released to our seas and maintain clean, healthy and productive oceans for future generations. There is no question that plastics are a wonderful material. Their adaptability and durability have seen their production and use surpass most other manmade materials, but we are facing a tsunami of plastic waste, and we need to deal with that. We have to rethink how we use some materials, mainly plastic.

This study is also further evidence that governments, big businesses and the global waste industry need to get their acts together and make sure that the ever-increasing amounts of plastic waste generated don’t end up in our environment.

Recycling rates are increasing, but for recycling to be a true success story we need to keep a piece of material in use and in the loop for ever, if we can, and while that technology maybe in the hands of scientists, we, in the meantime, can reduce the use plastics in our own homes, helping to stem the flow of pollution into our rivers and oceans and into the mouths of our marine wildlife.