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Plastic Pollution and Our Planet

As ‘Our Planet’, a nature documentary narrated by Bangor University Honorary Graduate Sir David Attenborough launches on Netflix, Marine Biology student Thea Moule shares her experience of plastic pollution.

Speaking at the WWF’s State of the Planet Address event in London last year, Sir David said:

“Today we have become the greatest threat to the health of our home, but there’s still time for us to address the challenges we’ve created, if we act now. We need the world to pay attention.”

Thea Moule an undergraduate student at the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor explains about the plastic damage she has witnessed in the ocean on her world travels. She said:

“When I saw the pollution first-hand, I felt a mixture of emotions. I was saddened for the marine life who have to live with the consequences of our actions, I was overwhelmed with the extent of the plastic that was in the ocean and I couldn't make a significant difference there and then. I was also angry that society let the problem get to this extent.”

While diving in Indonesia, Thea was appalled to see the effect our waste is having on the environment and wildlife. She added:

“Unfortunately, I saw the extent of how much plastic was in the ocean - it looked like a plastic soup. I just wanted to spend as much time in the water as possible so between dives I would snorkel around and one particular time I saw an eagle ray for the first time and we also had an encounter of a manta train, so the whole experience was amazing. 

“But whilst it was all going on I was having to dodge around plastic and I was even getting tangled up in plastic bags myself, so I made the best effort to take out any plastic I found. There was way too much in the ocean out there.”

Thea is determined to make a difference and is confident that her degree at Bangor University will help her to do that in the future. In the meantime, she is actively trying to reduce the use of plastic as part of Plastic Free Bangor and gets involved in local beach cleans.

The eight-part series of Our Planet will be released on Netflix on Friday April 5.

Publication date: 5 April 2019