Life in the seas risks irreparable damage from a rising tide of plastic waste, the UN oceans chief has warned.
Lisa Svensson said governments, firms and individual people must act far more quickly to halt plastic pollution.
“This is a planetary crisis,” she said. “In a few short decades since we discovered the convenience of plastics, we are ruining the ecosystem of the ocean.”
She was speaking to BBC News ahead of a UN environment summit in Nairobi.
Delegates at the meeting want tougher action against plastic litter.
Ms Svensson had just been saddened by a Kenyan turtle hospital which treats animals that have ingested waste plastic.
She saw a juvenile turtle named Kai, brought in by fishermen a month ago because she was floating on the sea surface.