Heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It covers an area at least six times that of the UK, and is a ten feet deep layer of surface water that contains about four pieces of plastic in every square metre.

It is a horror that every one of us has helped to create.

We need to remember that plastic is an oil-based carbon compound, with most of the nine billion tonnes produced since 1950 still in existence. This isn’t surprising, as bottle plastic is expected to last at least 500 years while plastic bags could be around for twice as long.

So it hangs around - and up to now, only 9% has been recycled with just another 12% burnt. That leaves over five billion tonnes to accumulate in landfill - or the oceans, where it’s becoming a very serious problem for birds and marine life.

Over 100 million marine animals, such as seals, whales, walruses, dolphins and crabs, die each year from eating plastic. For over 90% of sea birds, at least 10% of their stomach content is made up of plastic particles.

This is a serious problem for albatross chicks, as more than a third of them die without maturing. They should live for up to sixty years.

It’s likely to be a worsening problem as these 100,000 tonnes of marine plastic particles, broken down into almost two trillion (2,000,000,000,000) minute pieces, will double in the next ten years unless we reduce plastic use.

A simple way to start would be with your shopping, and I can recommend that you revert to the dairy man bringing your milk in glass bottles and shun the large plastic milk containers. Similarly, persuade the supermarkets to replace plastic bags with paper ones - small and large.

While we are aware of plastic problems because we can see and feel it, it would be very helpful if CO2 was similarly evident, with a colour, or a smell, or a taste. We might then take it seriously.