Back Sir David Attenborough’s plea to keep plastic out of the oceans

The veteran broadcaster called for action in Blue Planet II – you can answer with The Big Issue Shop's exclusive 'Plastic in Our Oceans' T-shirt, designed by Mau Mau

Viewers of Blue Planet II, the latest opus from wildlife TV titan David Attenborough, have been stunned – not just by the astonishing images it has captured of ocean life, but by the shocking statistics it has raised about pollution in our planet’s seas.

Attenborough has called for immediate action by manufacturers, retailers, governments and – most importantly – each of us as individuals to halt the flow of plastic into the oceans, saying humanity has the future of the planet now “in the palm of its hands”.

We could actually do something about plastic right now. I just wish we would

He said: “What we’re going to do about a 1.5 degrees rise in the temperature of the ocean over the next 10 years, I don’t know, but we could actually do something about plastic right now. I just wish we would. There are so many sequences that every single one of us have been involved in – even in the most peripheral way – where we have seen tragedies happen because of the plastic in the ocean.


“We’ve seen albatrosses come back with their belly full of food for their young and nothing in it. The albatross parent has been away for three weeks gathering stuff for her young and what comes out? What does she give her chick? You think it’s going to be squid, but it’s plastic. The chick is going to starve and die. But we could do things about plastic internationally tomorrow.”

These stark calls to action have struck a chord. And The Big Issue Shop wants to help make a difference.


There are currently around 1,450 Big Issue sellers working hard on the streets each week.

Internationally renowned street artist Mau Mau, who has put ocean pollution at the heart of his work for more than a decade, was shocked by a report that highlighted there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 unless industry radically changed its practices. In response he produced an exclusive, limited edition T-shirt design ‘Plastic In Our Oceans’ – which is available to buy from The Big Issue Shop. It’s part of our #WEARABIGISSUE line of shirts, which turns fashion into a real statement.

WEARABIGISSUE Plastic in our Oceans T-shirt

Mau Mau, who has created designs for a host of musicians including Roots Manuva, Estelle, Dizzee Rascal and Herbaliser, had first-hand experience of the fashion industry, running his own label in the 1990s. So it is no surprise that he chose strictly ethical and eco-friendly manufacturer DGrade Clothing for his T-shirts: printed on organic cotton EarthPositive® shirts, manufactured solely on sustainable energy generated from wind and solar power.

In one of the world’s most environmentally damaging industries, EarthPositive® apparel is made to demonstrate the highest possible environmental, social and ethical standards, and promote awareness and take action on climate change. Organic Cotton + Ethically Traded + Carbon Neutral manufacturing = 100% Sustainable = 100% EarthPositive®.

Mau Mau’s ‘Plastic In Our Oceans’ shirt is priced £30 (plus p&p). Environmentally-conscious consumers who want to make a difference might also want to check out our ‘No More Fish In The Sea’ range of T-shirts and hoodies. Or the bold, reusable ‘Stuff the Plastic: Big The Issue’ versatile shopping bag.

See more at

We believe poverty is indiscriminate.

Which is why we provide ANYONE whose life is blighted by poverty with the opportunity to earn a legitimate income.

Learn More