This week Down to Earth explores the alarming rate in which plastic has plastered the planet. Since it was invented a century ago the petroleum-based material has invaded all aspects of modern society. Cheap, solid, waterproof and light, plastic now pollutes ever corner of the globe.
While many types of plastic can be recycled, most of it ends up in landfills or oceans where it contaminates the environment and often enters the food chain.
How do we live in a world full of plastic? Or can we find a way to live without it?
We speak to record-breaking sailor Ellen MacArthur who crusades for a better way to manage our finite resources.