Each one of us unwittingly consumes as many as 52,000 tiny plastic particles a year, Canadian researchers say.
Now that China slashed its recyclables imports, western nations are starting to embrace a new reality.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic lifecycle threaten our ability to rein in our emissions.
A line of research looks at ways to cut the carbon footprint of plastics down to as little as possible.
China, India, Thailand and Vietnam have stopped accepting trash from Europe and North America.
"The approach is innovative and elegantly simple," an expert notes.