The problem of waste plastics won’t be ended merely by the actions of concerned citizens – it will take something new, profound and dynamic.

If the Queen of England’s doing it, with fanfare, you know it’s got to be significant. And it is. David Attenborough’s sensational Blue Planet series awakened the masses to a truth long known by anyone half interested in the environment – that the oceans are being smothered in plastic waste. As I recall it, Thor Hyadal, crossing the Atlantic on his papyrus raft, “Ra II” to try to prove the Egyptians got to South America and built pyramids, reported giant floating masses of debris tens of miles across in remote regions. Then it was the great marine ecologist and inventor of the aqualung Jacques Cousteau.