'We need to act now' - Sir David Attenborough says we can reverse environmental damage

Sir David Attenborough.
Sir David Attenborough. Photo credit: Reuters

Sir David Attenborough says it's possible to reverse the damage humans have done to the environment, but only if we act now.

The 92-year-old made the comments while promoting his new virtual reality experience, Hold The World.

The Sky-owned experience takes viewers through a private guided tour with a holographic Sir David at the Natural History Museum.

Sir David has worked closely with marine life during his 60-years-long career, and seen the damage plastic waste has done to the precious ecosystem.

He told Sky that whilst the damage is bad, we can reverse the effects if we act now.

"It isn't just being high-minded - we are part of the wild world. If it wasn't for other animals, we would starve... we couldn't even breathe our air."

Ditching single-use plastic in his own life, Sir David says we don't need to use as much as we think we do.

Single-use plastic like plastic bags can take 1,000 years to break down and the same goes for straws, which are used for an average of 20 minutes per person before being thrown out and taking up to 200 years to decompose.

Countries like Kenya, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe have made it a punishable offence if people are caught using single-use plastic.

Whilst New Zealand isn't far behind with Countdown and New World announcing their commitment to go plastic bag-free by the end of 2018, it's still not enough to combat the serious damage plastic is causing.

According to New Zealand organisation Our Seas Our Future, an estimated 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic entered the oceans in 2010 from people living within 50km of the coast in 192 countries.