Seabirds regurgitating plastic rubbish, turtles caught up in discarded ­shopping bags and dolphins playing with material that could harm them.

It took these harrowing images from BBC1’s Blue Planet II to make me really take notice of plastic pollution and the part we have been playing in overusing plastic.

Sir David Attenborough brought the issue into our homes in a way that hadn’t been done before.

I, like many, took notice and immediately stepped up my recycling efforts and tried to be better when it came to the
supermarket shop.

But two years after the show was first aired, I must admit I have fallen back on old habits and, as today’s special green edition of the Daily Mirror tells us, I need to do much better. But as a busy working mum it’s not always easy and convenient. Especially when it comes to recycling.

You need an encyclopedia to work out what all the various symbols mean.

According to the Resource Association it is estimated that contamination – putting the wrong things in recycling bins – is costing local authorities millions of pounds annually.

For ages I thought the “green dot” symbol – two white and green circular arrows – meant the packaging was recyclable. It doesn’t. It means the producer has made a financial contribution to the recovery and recycling of packaging in Europe.

The three white arrows in a triangle known as the Mobius Loop means the packaging can be recycled but doesn’t guarantee it will be accepted by all recycling ­collection centres.

How can we keep up? I feel I need three bins in the kitchen, one for things that can be recycled, stuff that can’t, and one for the maybes. But I just don’t have the space. Or the time.

Don’t expect much help from manufacturers. Most say check with your local authority as different boroughs have different rules. It’s a minefield. One that I struggle to navigate.

But what good is recycling if we’re awash with too much plastic in the first place?

It’s hard to shop for a family without picking up food ­packaged to make life easier like ready-to-eat salad and grab-and-go fruit. I don’t want to contend with apples and potatoes rolling down a dirty conveyor belt when I have an under-five having a meltdown.

And can I really tell him he can’t have his Babybel because they’re individually wrapped?

Like with any addiction we need help to kick our habit. Maybe we need to go cold turkey. Some supermarkets have started reducing plastic.

But that doesn’t go far enough. As well as cutting down on packaging, there needs to be clearer labelling of what can or can’t be recycled, backed by government legislation.

There is now ­technology that scans packaging to tell us how it can be recycled. It should be used here and shops should do away with plastic shopping bags.

I want to be greener, I just need help getting there.

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