The world's oceans are turning into a "toxic soup" of industrial waste and plastic, putting the future of humanity at risk, Sir David Attenborough has warned.

In the final episode of the BBC's groundbreaking wildlife documentary Blue Planet II, which airs this Sunday, the true scale of man's impact on the planet is laid bare, according to the Daily Telegraph UK.

The filmmakers show the horrifying death of an albatross, whose gut was punctured by a plastic toothpick, as well as the contents of chick's stomach - a lethal cocktail of polythene bags and plastic food wrappers.

Elsewhere an autopsy on dolphin showed that the young female had high levels of man-made toxins in her tissues, which probably led to her death.

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Dolphins are at the top of the food chain and experts now believe that adult animals are ingesting so much plastic that the calf may have been contaminated by her own mother's milk.

It's heartbreaking...heartbreaking

Sir David Attenborough has called for action on plastic waste clogging up the world's oceans after a baby albatross was killed by a toothpick in #BluePlanet2 He previously told Sky Ocean Rescue the impact of plastic waste on wildlife "was heartbreaking" Read more on the story here: https://trib.al/KTxtMZO

Posted by Sky Ocean Rescue on Monday, 4 December 2017

Attenborough said: "Since its invention some 100 years ago, plastic has become an integral part of our daily lives, but every year some eight million tons of it ends up in the ocean, and there is can be lethal.

"While filming Blue Planet II the crews found plastic in every ocean. Even in the most remote locations.

"Once in the ocean plastic breaks down into tiny fragments, micro plastics. Along with all industrial chemicals which have drained into the ocean these form a potentially toxic soup.

"Industrial pollution and the discarding of plastic waste must be tackled for the sake of all life in the ocean.

"Surely we have a responsibility to care for our planet. The future of humanity and indeed all life on earth, now depends on us."

The world's oceans are drowning in human rubbish. Each year more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally, and 10 per cent will end up in the sea.

In some areas there are one million pieces of plastic for every km of ocean. Photo / Rachel Butler
In some areas there are one million pieces of plastic for every km of ocean. Photo / Rachel Butler

In the worst areas, there are over one million pieces of plastic for every square mile and it is estimated that there is now a 1:2 ratio of plastic to plankton and, left unchecked, plastic will outweigh fish by 2050.

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In the final episode, the team travelled to the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia, 1448km north of Antarctica which is home to a large albatross colony.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has been studying the colony for decades but has noticed rapid declines as increasing amounts of plastic have entered the oceans. The birds can become entangled in fishing gear and drown, and they also accidentally feed plastic to their chicks.

Lucy Quinn, of the BAS, said: "It's only through looking at long term studies that you get a sense of these creatures, and the albatrosses here have over the past ten years been in decline.

 The endangered Green Turtles come to feed in the tropical waters off the oceanic island of Sipidan. Photo / Jason Isley
The endangered Green Turtles come to feed in the tropical waters off the oceanic island of Sipidan. Photo / Jason Isley

"Albatrosses have the ability to cough up food which they can't digest and from that we can tell what they've been eating. A healthy albatross chick should really be having things like squid, so we find the squid beaks that come out of the pellet and also fish, so we can find fish bones.

"We found a plastic bag, some food packaging, it looks like rice. Luckily for this chick he has managed to get this plastic out of its stomach."

However, another chick was not so lucky.

"Unfortunately there was a plastic toothpick which had gone through the stomach," said Quinn. "Something as small as that has managed to kill the bird."

Attenborough added: "For years we thought that the oceans were so vast and the inhabitants so infinitely numerous that nothing we could do could have an effect upon them.

"But now we know that was wrong. The oceans are under threat now as never before in human history."