Just how bad is our plastic pollution problem? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. “Amid the rugged peaks of the Vicdessos region of the French Pyrenees, the only visible signs of a human presence are a smattering of villages and the odd hiker or skier; it is considered a pristine environment. But even here, scientists have detected tiny pieces of plastic falling out of the air like artificial dust.”

+ A six-decade plankton study charts the rise of ocean plastic waste.

+ “Amid this plastic wasteland, a new bacterium species, Ideonella sakaiensis, took root. Scientists prospecting for traces of life at the recycling facility named it after the city where it was found. And in 2016, they reported that the hot dog-shaped microorganism wasn’t just surviving; it was thriving.” Vox: Scientists are trying to accelerate evolution to make plastics rot. A tiny new organism is showing them how.