Try this: Write a list of every piece of plastic you touch in a day. I did it. I stopped counting at 56 items. Plastic is to our time what wood was for millennia. But unlike wood, most plastic doesn’t go away. It ends up as trash in streets, rivers, lakes and oceans. It breaks down into microplastic — particles a tenth of an inch or smaller — and gets into our food and water. The health effects are largely unknown.

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