Broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough received an award from the Queen on November 19 for his series Blue Planet II. The popular series highlighted the need to protect oceans from pollution.

The Chatham House Prize is awarded to people and organizations focused on significant contributions to international relationships. Attenborough and the BBC Studios Natural History Unit were the recipients.

The Queen told Attenborough as part of her speech, “Your ability to communicate the beauty and vulnerability of our natural environment remains unequaled as you – and your team – have engaged and enthused many people, young and old, to appreciate and preserve our world’s oceans. For that, we should all be thankful.”

David Attenborough has been making nature programs since the 1950s. According to Reuters, Blue Planet II had the highest viewing figures in 2017 for British television.

In accepting the award, Attenborough commented to the BBC about the documentary and people’s awareness of pollution, “I think we’re all shifting our behavior, I really do. People in all parts of society are aware of what’s happening. It’s vile, it’s horrid and it’s something we are clearly seeing inflicted on the natural world and having a dreadful effect and there’s something [we] can do about it. So in a way, it’s a bit of a litmus test to see if the population cares about it — and people do. I think we are changing our habits, and the world is waking up to what we’ve done to the planet.”

Awareness and a focus on reducing plastic have grown steadily in the UK. The Queen commented on the environment in her 2019 speech to Parliament, a first for her. The government has focused on reducing plastic and British companies like UK Budweiser and Tesco have taken steps to remove the plastic in their operations.

Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove, Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland and many more are banning various single-use plastics and others that are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

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