Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet II was one of the most watched shows in 2017, seen by over 14 million people. He brought global attention to an ocean in crisis. Since that time, media coverage of marine litter and the global call for bans against plastic - from straws to bags - has shifted from a niche environmental issue to a mainstream political issue.
- There was a 148% increase in the volume of media coverage on plastic waste from 2017 to 2018, with top-tier coverage responsible for 60% of all stories about plastic bans and media litter (Quid, Sysomos)
- Coverage on bans on plastic dominated coverage on marine litter, with the UK's decision to ban single-use plastics leading to the largest volume of plastic litter coverage in 2018 (Sysomos)
Heightened public awareness led to policy campaigns and social movements across the globe to ban or reduce the use of plastics, particularly single-use plastics. These campaigns were resonating heavily with residents in the UK, Europe and coastal United States.