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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Plastics: a double-edged sword

Depending on the definition used, plastics were discovered in 1284 with the first recorded use of horn and tortoiseshell as the predominant early natural plastic or as late as 1907 when Leo Baekeland invented Bakelite, the first fully synthetic plastic.

1955 Life Magazine cover
WWII served as a catalyst for the burst of modern-day plastic-product development and manufacturing. Per the Science History Institute (SHI) article, The History and Future of Plastics, during World War II plastic production in the United States increased by 300%. The August 1955 Life magazine article Throwaway Living essentially announced the inauguration of single-use plastic for common household use.

Thus, in less than seventy years, humans managed to infiltrate the Earth with microplastics and nanoplastics from discarded single-use and durable products in literally every nook and cranny. Recent research documented microplastics and nanoplastics in sites ranging from the arctic-snow caps to the depths of the oceans and everywhere in between.

Plastic: what is it?
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word plastic comes from Latin plasticus, from Greek plastikos "able to be molded, pertaining to molding, fit for molding" or simply pliable and easily shaped. It seems plastic as an adjective was first defined in the 1630's.

Over the centuries, the word plastic evolved into many meanings including slang terms such as a fake and/or arrogant person. For purposes of this article, plastic is defined as a material category of natural and synthetic polymers, a substance consisting of a large number of similar linked monomers (small molecules). Common natural polymers include polypeptide-protein molecules made from various amino-acid monomer units and cellulose, the material responsible for plant-cell walls.

Bakelite molecular structure
photo: Quora, What is the structure of bakelite
Per the PlasticsEurope How Plastics are Made page, plastics are derived from natural, organic materials such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and, of course, crude oil. A complex mixture of thousands of compounds, crude oil needs to be processed before it can be used. Synthetic plastic polymers may be classified into two broad categories:
  • Thermoplastics (which soften on heating and then harden again on cooling).
  • Thermosets (which never soften once they have been moulded).
Generally, plastics allow for cost-effective manufacturing of products that are durable and strong for their weight. In addition, plastic materials are electrically and thermally insulative, and resistant to shock, corrosion, chemicals, and water.

Some of the same properties that make plastic a valuable construction and packaging material contribute to its environmental devastation. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Marine Debris Program:
Plastics will degrade into small pieces until you can’t see them anymore (so small you’d need a microscope or better!). But, do plastics fully go away? Full degradation into carbon dioxide, water, and inorganic molecules is called mineralization (Andrady 2003). Most commonly used plastics do not mineralize (or go away) in the ocean and instead break down into smaller and smaller pieces. We call these pieces “microplastics” if they are less than 5mm long. The rate of degradation depends on chemical composition, molecular weight, additives, environmental conditions, and other factors (Singh and Sharma 2008).
Plastic: history(1)
When using an original definition of plastic, simply pliable and easily shaped, tree saps provide natural plastic material such as amber, rubber and gutta-percha, the coagulated latex of certain Malaysian trees. According to the SHI article, Celluloid: The Eternal Substitute, even glass, moldable at high temperatures, is a natural plastic.

Celluloid (2)
In 1869 renowned American inventor John Wesley Hyatt discovered that cellulose derived from cotton fiber treated with camphor created a plastic that could imitate natural substances like tortoiseshell, horn, linen, and ivory; camphor is a crystalline compound usually derived from the wood and bark of the Asian camphor laurel Thus, Hyatt is credited with discovering celluloid, the first synthetic plastic polymer.

Celluloid doll
Photo from Wikipedia
Hyatt was inspired by an 1863 advertisement via a New York firm offering $10,000 for the discovery of a replacement material for ivory. Due to billiards growing popularity, the limited supply of quality ivory to make the billiard balls was a concern. Ivory was obtained through the slaughter of wild African elephants.

Along with his brother, Hyatt formed the Celluloid Manufacturing Company that produced celluloid dental plates for false teeth. Hyatt developed blow molding, a process for making hollow items from celluloid tubes, that lead to the mass production of inexpensive toys and ornaments. Around the same time, artisans used celluloid to craft hair combs and eyeglass frames that resembled ivory, tortoiseshell, coral and semi-precious stones.

CHALLENGE: celluloid is highly flammable! Though there are urban legends of exploding combs and buttons, factory fires were the prime hazard of celluloid manufacturing and use. 

Celluloid's primary traits - cheapness, flexibility, and transparency - transformed photography in still and motion-picture realms. Together with chemist Henry Reichenbach, George Eastman filed patents in 1889 for their nitrocellulose film (simply called “nitrate film”) that allowed photographers to develop and print their own film. Additionally, nitrate film made motion pictures possible.

Nitrate film
photo  Preservation Self-Assessment Program
By 1928 the cinema industry was thriving and transformed popular entertainment. Until 1950, movies were shot on nitrate film while hand-painted sheets brought Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny to life when filmed in sequence.

Nitrate film was highly flammable and could ignite by the heat generated while passing through a projector's film gate. There were incidents of audience deaths by flames, smoke, or resulting stampedes.

Additionally, nitrate film was unstable and subject to decomposition. Thus, a good portion of the early movies on nitrate film are lost forever due to studio fires, auto-ignited fires in storage, and decomposition.

Beyond antique-collector items such as combs, ornaments, and toys, celluloid retains one practical use in current times as ping pong balls, which are hollow celluloid balls.

Modern Plastic Development
The first fully synthetic plastic, Bakelite, was invented in 1907 by Leo Baekeland. Fully synthetic plastic has no molecules that exist in nature. Bakelite was created to replace shellac, a natural electrical insulator, during the "electrifying" of  the Western world. 

Beyond an excellent insulator, Bakelite is durable, non-flammable, heat resistant, and, unlike celluloid, ideally suited for mechanical mass production. Living up to plastic's definition, Bakelite may be shaped and molded into almost anything. Thus, the entry into modern-day plastic unfolded.

WWII nylon parachute
Photo: Army Logistics University
Plastic played a significant role in WWII-military success and victory. The multitude of uses were extensive. Nylon, invented by Wallace Carothers in 1935 as a synthetic silk, played a valuable role in parachutes, ropes, body armor, helmet liners, and more. Light weight and shatter-resistant, Poly(methyl methacrylate), commonly called Plexiglas, replaced glass in aircraft windows. The wide array of plastic use flourished during WWII and, as previously mentioned, plastic production in the U.S. increased 300%.

Greenhouse and hydroponic-farming were industry segments that benefited by the development of inexpensive, durable and lightweight plastics. The RiA Magazine article, A Hydroponic-Agriculture Renaissance, documents how the ancient agriculture practice was reinvented via plastic-material availability.

According to author Susan Freinkel in her 2011 Plastics: A Toxic Love Story, “In product after product, market after market, plastics challenged traditional materials and won, taking the place of steel in cars, paper and glass in packaging, and wood in furniture.

While early plastic usage related to the manufacturing of durable goods, in the 1950's single-use plastic packaging and products were introduced; thus, the onset of plastic pollution.

Consumer-Product Development and Environmental Impact
HDPE (High Density Polyethylene, also known as #2 plastic) was invented in 1953 by Karl Ziegler and Erhard Holzkamp and two years later the first HDPE pipe was produced. A decade later in 1963 Ziegler won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Later HDPE became the common packaging material for milk jugs, bleach, detergents, shampoo, motor oil and many other household items.

First patented in Sweden in 1962 and later in the United States in 1965, the T-shirt plastic bag (formally "bag with handle of weldable plastic material") was invented by Sten Gustaf Thulin with patents obtained by Cellopast, a Sweden-based packing company. 

Plastic T-shirt bags in use
Photo source: Politico
In the late 1970's, the T-shirt plastic bag was introduced to the grocery industry as a way to reduce trees cut down for paper bags. By 1985, 75% of the grocery stores offered plastic bags yet they only held a 25% market share. A decade later plastic bags captured 80% of the market. Plastic-grocery bags are made from HDPE or LDPE (LowDensity Polyethylene, also known as #4 plastic).

Beverage containers as well as food and other single-use packaging are often made from PET (Polyethylene terephthalate, also known as #1 plastic), a form of polyester. In 1973, the now common PET-beverage container was patented with the first bottles recycled in 1977.

According to Statista, by 2016 approximately 485 billion PET bottles were produced annually, increasing to an estimated 583.3 billion produced in 2021. The Resource Recycling November 2018 article PET bottle recycling rate rises states PET recycling rates increased to 29.2% in the past year. Thus, in theory, 70.8% of the 2016 PET bottles manufactured, or 343 billion bottles, from the highly recyclable, valuable material were landfill-destined or simply disposed of in the environment. Since the recycling rate increased in 2018, the 343-billion bottles in 2016 is a conservative estimate.

In the 1960's manufacturing infrastructure was established to mass produce plastic-drinking straws to replace the paper straws commonly used. According to One More Generation's One Less Straw Pledge Campaign the U.S. currently uses 500,000,000 plastic straws daily, enough straws to wrap around the earth's circumference 2.5 times a day.

Plastic-fishing debris pollution
found on a remote Cozumel beach
Plastic-fishing nets are commonly made from highly recyclable polyethylene and nylon. A 2018 Scientific Reports-published research project substantiates 46% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch consists of plastic-fishing nets, known as ghost nets; CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Boyon Slat and his team of scientists submitted the project report to Scientific Reports. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the globe's largest conglomeration of floating trash first discovered by Oceanographic Research Vessel Alguita Captain Charles Moore in 1997.

In its many forms plastics proceeded to seep into almost every aspect of modern society. The high-tech revolution brought personal computers, cell phones, digital cameras, and other electronic equipment to the average consumer: plastics were integral to developing user-friendly, cost-effective devices. A plastic-free life is nearly impossible within modern society.

Plastics: from macro to micro to nano plastics
At the 2016 National Zero Waste Conference, Elemental Impact (Ei) hosted a popular panel, The Macro Cost of Micro Contamination, where Lia Colabella of 5 Gyres and Ei Partner Rick Lombardo with NaturTec co-presented to a standing-room-only crowd.

In her MORE OCEAN, Less Plastic presentation, Colabella included the following chilling facts:

The amount of plastic that enters the ocean each year.

The estimated number of pieces of plastic floating on the ocean surface.

Once in our waterways, plastics act as sponges, soaking up all the chemicals – like PCB, DDT – that don’t mix with salt water.

Toxic-laden plastics look super tasty to fish. And we all know fish look tasty to us.

Plastic fragments in fish
Photo courtesy of 5 Gyres
Lombardo's powerful Compostable Plastics vs. Traditional Plastics session educated on a similar dilemma building within our soils. To help understand the origins of microplastic contamination, Rick educated on fragmentation, biodegradability and compostability as follows:

Fragmentation – first step in the biodegradation process, in which organic matter is broken down into microscopic fragments.

Biodegradability – complete microbial assimilation of the fragmented product as a food source by the soil microorganisms.

Compostability – complete assimilation within 180 days in an industrial compost environment.

Note the difference between biodegradability and compostibility is TIME. By definition, compostable material decomposes within 180 days while bio-degradation may take as long as millions of years.

Due to the fragmentation process, ocean-plastic pollution is now referred to as plastic smog. Clean-up is challenging to impossible due to the microscopic size of the plastic. Aquatic life consumes the fragmented plastic; larger pieces remain within the digestive tract and smaller ones may integrate within the flesh. Thus, plastic enters the human-food system!

Plastic smog in ocean
Photo: Kobaken, Creative Commons
Microplastics are defined as plastic fragments or particles smaller than 5.0 mm in size. According to ScienceDirect's abstract,
Current opinion: What is a nanoplastic?, recently discovered nanoplastics are defined as particles unintentionally produced (i.e. from the degradation and the manufacturing of the plastic objects) and presenting a colloidal(4) behavior, within the size range from 1 to 1000 nm.

Microplastic and nanoplastic research is a new frontier as scientists grapple to understand their implications and impact of ecosystems, animal organs and flesh, and plant roots, cell walls and fiber. For animals, current hypotheses are microplastics generally remain trapped in the gastrointestinal tract while nanoplastics may enter flesh, the bloodstream and even cell walls.

Dr Anne Marie Mahon at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, expresses her concerns, “I would be more concerned about nanoplastics (less than 0.001 mm) when it comes to human health. Microplastics will not enter a cell, but nanoplastics are small enough to cross into cells and permeate the body.”

Plastics: in the ocean
The BBC NEWS article, Early ocean plastic litter traced to the 1960's, confirms single-use plastic made its way to the oceans soon after its introduction as a commonly used item.

Additional findings from a continuous plankton recorders (CPRs) study found a plastic-fishing line from 1957; the study confirmed ocean-plastic pollution increased steadily and significantly since the 1990's. In the study, a plastic bag found off the coast of Ireland was dated to a 1965 origin, only three years after the T-shirt bag was patented in Sweden.

Five ocean gyres
Photo courtesy of NOAA
Since Captain Moore's discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, according to NOAA, scientists identified five major gyres: the North and South Pacific Subtropical Gyres, the North and South Atlantic Subtropical Gyres, and the Indian Ocean Subtropical Gyre. Though its traditional meaning refers simply to large, rotating ocean currents, gyre evolved to commonly mean collections of plastic waste and other debris found in higher concentrations in certain parts of the ocean.

Due to plastic fragmentation into microplastic and further into nanoplastics, the depths of the ocean are now infiltrated with plastics ingested by marine organisms. The February 2019 Microplastics and synthetic particles ingested by deep-sea amphipods in six of the deepest marine ecosystems on Earth research article published by The Royal Society Publishing documents research in six deep ocean trenches from around the Pacific Rim (Japan, Izu-Bonin, Mariana, Kermadec, New Hebrides and the Peru-Chile trenches), at depths ranging from 7,000 m to 10,890 m.

In conclusion, the article provides the following summary:
The results of this study demonstrate that man-made fibres including microplastics are ingested by lysianassoid amphipods at the deepest location of all the Earth's oceans. Microplastic ingestion occurred in all trenches, indicating they are bioavailable within hadal environments.(3)
Three species of deep-sea amphipods (6)
We hypothesize that the physical impacts known in shallower ecosystems as a result of microplastic ingestion are likely to occur within hadal populations. Plastics are being ingested, culminating in bioavailability in an ecosystem inhabited by species we poorly understand, cannot observe experimentally and have failed to obtain baseline data for prior to contamination.
This study reports the deepest record of microplastic ingestion, indicating it is highly likely there are no marine ecosystems left that are not impacted by plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution is prevalent beyond oceans and in the Earth's waterways. The December 2015 Science Daily article, Microplastics: Rhine one of the most polluted rivers worldwide, documents the prolific plastic pollution in the German river from Basel and Rotterdam. As reported in the February 2019 Knox News article, Microplastics hit home: Tennessee River among the most plastic polluted in the world, the Tennessee River joins the Rhine River as a top-ranked most polluted river:
Dr. Andreas Fath, who spent 34 days last summer swimming the 652 miles of the Tennessee River from Knoxville to Paducah, Kentucky, and his team analyzed three samples of the 12 they collected and found close to 18,000 microplastic particles per cubic meter of water in the Tennessee River.
Research on the quantity, type, and impact of microplastics and nanoplastics in the oceans and waterways is well underway with chilling results.

Plastics: in drinking water
According to a 2017, ten-month, six-continent investigative report by Orb Media, INVISIBLES: The Plastics Inside Us, worldwide 83% of the tap-water samples contained plastic fibers; the United States was at 94% and every other country tested was above 70%.

Though not scientifically proven, the Orb Media report listed the following daily activities that are likely sources of microplastics and nanoplastics in drinking water worldwide:
Clothing fibers are the major source
of microplastic pollution in the
San Francisco Bay.
Article: Microfibers: How the Tiny Threads
in Our Clothes Are Polluting the Ba

Photo: Sherri Mason/SUNY Fredonia
  • Washing synthetic fabrics - polyester, nylon, acrylic, and especially fleece fabrics release microfibers in washing machine cycles; in a study by Patagonia, a fleece garment sheds 250,000 microplastic fibers in one washing cycle. 
  • Tire dust - styrene butadiene rubber-tire dust from normal travel along roads flows into sewer systems, water-treatment plants and eventually into drinking water. Per the Orb Media study, 20 grams of tire dust is generated for 100 kilometers driven. Thus, in Norway, a kilogram of tire dust is produced each year for every member of their population.
  • Paints - dust from road markings, ship paint, and house paint contribute to 10% of the microplastics in the ocean. Studies show that paint dust covers the ocean surface. 
  • Secondary Plastics - essentially plastic trash discarded into the environment, which fragments into microplastics and nanoplastics.
  • Airborne synthetic fibers - similar to a cat shedding, human movement releases micro fibers from synthetic clothing into the atmosphere. A 2015 study in Paris estimated that between three and ten tons of airborne micro fibers fall onto the city's surface each year.
  • Microbeads - though now banned in the U.S. and Canada, it is estimated that more than 8 trillion microbeads polluted U.S. waterways in 2015 alone.
With astounding findings from reports such as INVISIBLES: The Plastics Inside Us, organizations like the World Health Organization are addressing Microplastics in drinking water.

Plastics: in the atmosphere
In an August 2019 Science Advances research article, White and wonderful? Microplastics prevail in snow from the Alps to the Arctic, Dr. Melanie Bergmann and her team of German and Swiss research scientists discovered that microplastics prevail in the snow sampled from one of the last pristine environments in the world. The researchers collected snow samples from the Svalbard islands, located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole

Arctic-snow samples
Photo courtesy of the referenced
research project
Shocked, the scientists found more than 10,000 plastic particles per liter in the "pristine" snow. In addition to plastics, rubber, varnish, paint and possibly synthetic fibres particles were found in the snow.

As quoted in the BBC News article, Plastic particles falling out of sky with snow in Arctic, Dr. Bergmann explains, "We expected to find some contamination but to find this many microplastics was a real shock. It's readily apparent that the majority of the microplastic in the snow comes from the air."

In a May 2019 research project published in Nature GeoScience, Atmospheric transport and deposition of microplastics in a remote mountain catchment, a British-French research team found microplastics in the remote French Pyrenees.

Microplastics and other micro debris from populated areas are carried by atmospheric currents and deposited in the thought-to-be pristine environment via snow fall. It is likely particle pollution is in the air humans and wildlife breath on a minute-by-minute basis.

Additional research on the ramifications of microplastics in the atmosphere is most certainly forthcoming.

Plastics: in the soils
With research validating microplastics in our waterways, oceans, drinking water, and atmosphere, it is reasonable to assume microplastics, and most likely nanoplastics, are prevalent in the Earth's soils. Yet to date there is minimal discussion let alone research on the impact of plastics to the soil ecosystem and plant roots and fiber.

TSSI introduction meeting at the
Jimmy Carter Center
Photo credit: Jim Ries, OMG President
Author Jon Daly substantiates how plastics find their way into agricultural soils through recycled wastewater and rubbish in the January 2019 ABC News article, Scientists say microplastics are all over farmlands, but we're ignoring the problem. Within the rubbish is a significant amount of single-use food and beverage packaging; the vast majority of the packaging is either plastic-coated or 100% plastic. Plastic straws are a prevalent contributor to microplastics in the waterways, oceans, and soils.

In March 2019 Ei took first “easy win” steps to addressing microplastics and nanoplastics in our waterways, oceans, soils, and the human-food chain with the Three-Step Straw Initiative (TSSI) announcement. TSSI Partner Green Planet Straws is the financial catalyst for Ei's important work. The RiA Magazine article, Three Steps to Straw Integrity announces the TSSI.

The TSSI is in partnership with One More Generation's (OMG) well established One Less Straw pledge program. The “kids” who started OMG are amazing – they presented at the United Nations and were keynote speakers during the #G7 Ocean Summit session in Halifax. In early 2019 OMG received the Energy Globe Award for the Youth category from over 6000-project entries from more than 178 countries.

Tradd Cotter with Laura Turner Seydel
at the Ei Exploration 
Over the summer Ei Founder Holly Elmore met with soil-research scientists at several prominent university departments of agriculture. At the meetings Holly garnered interest in exploring research projects on the impact of microplastics and nanoplastics in the soil ecosystem. Holly suggested two potential areas of research:
  1. Nanoplastic impact on the soil ecosystem including the various microbial communities, the plethora of soil life, and the potential segue into plant fiber.
  2. Potential use of fungus that feeds off of plastic to "clean-up" the plastic pollution in the soils. (5)
Concern: plastics often contain additives; when plastic is consumed (broken down into its elements) by the fungus, additives are in a "freed" state and may prove poisonous to soil life. Remember a fully synthetic polymer contains no molecules found in nature. Thus, there is concern plastics broken down to their elemental state may actually be more harmful due to additives.

Ei maintains a close relationship with renowned fungi scientist Tradd Cotter, Mushroom Mountain owner, and intends to bring Cotter into the research loop at the appropriate time. In October 2018, Ei hosted the empowering Ei Exploration of Fungi, Soil Health, and World Hunger, where Cotter welcomed the impressive group to Mushroom Mountain for a fascinating education session and facility tour.

Seeds for research related to plastic in the soils were planted during the Ei Exploration.

Plastics: a double-edged sword
Plastics in its myriad of forms propelled humanity beyond the Industrial Age and into the Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) where the economy is based on information technology. Along with silicon, plastics are integral to the high-tech equipment and devices at the foundation of the Information Age.

Within the Information Age, durable as well as single-use plastic products are integrated within modern day culture. The gamut of industries supporting humanity rely upon plastics for their manufacturing, administrative functions, product packaging and transportation, and ultimate consumer use.

Yet humans essentially trashed the planet with prolific plastic pollution that now inhabits every nook and cranny of the Earth. As previously explained, plastic pollution is predominant from the arctic snow caps to the depths of the oceans and everywhere in between. Scientists are merely beginning to study the health ramifications of humans, animals, plants and microbial life literally breathing, eating and drinking plastics in its macro, micro and nano forms.

In empowering leadership roles, global non-profit organizations are working to bring the Earth back to a healthy, balanced state. The non-profits are educating on the current scenario, working to stop plastic pollution, creating new manufacturing paradigms, and much more. Below are several examples:

  • 5 Gyres continues to educate on the magnitude of plastic pollution in our oceans and beyond. 
  • The Plastic Pollution Coalition works diligently to stop the deluge of plastic pollution with campaigns to eradicate single-use plastic consumption.
  • The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastic Economy intends to transform manufacturing design and protocol via two new industry standards: 1> products are made of 100% post-consumer recycled materials and 2> products are designed for reuse with company-sponsored programs making reuse simple, easy, and convenient for the consumer.
Plastics gifted humanity with an evolution of manufacturing, farming and information technology. Life on planet Earth is much more comfortable and abundant from the benefit of these innovations. 

Yet plastic pollution and its devastating ramifications threaten humanity's ability to continue as the Earth's dominant species. The seemingly magical gift of plastic came with a double-edged sword filled with the potential to destroy life as it is currently known on Earth. Negligent human action is responsible for a majority of the plastic pollution choking the Earth's life force.

It is time to shift perspectives from human-focused to life-focused and let the Earth show us how to heal the damage inflicted. Answers will come to those who live and take action from the heart.

Resources | Definitions:
(1) The Science History Institute article, The History and Future of Plastics, served as a primary resource for the Plastic: history section.
(2) The Science History Institute article, Celluloid: The Eternal Substitute, served as the primary resource for the Celluloid subsection.
(3) Hadal environments refer to the deepest depths of the oceans within oceanic trenches. The name is derived from Greek mythology where Hades is the Underworld.
(4) Colloidal refers to items of a small size that are floating in a medium of one of three substances: a solid, a liquid, or a gas. Colloidal particles can be suspended in a substance just like their own make-up or a different substance with the exception of gases. Source:
(5) The June 2017 Science Direct research paper Biodegradation of polyester polyurethane by Aspergillus tubingensis documents laboratory experiments with the plastic-feeding fungus.
(6) The amphipod image is courtesy of the Microplastics and synthetic particles ingested by deep-sea amphipods in six of the deepest marine ecosystems on Earth research article published by The Royal Society Publishing.


  1. Phenomenal article... thank you so much for all the great resources ;-)

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read the article. I finally slowed down enough to put the OMG links into the article. Hey, I appreciate some "OMG love" for the article in your social media networks!!!

  2. Thank you for taking the time to read the important article. Wishes for a phenomenal 2020! Holly

  3. This is such a well researched, informative and well presented article Holly. So much important information here, from history, to different types of plastic, to even stuff like tire dust, which I have never thought about as a microplastic.

    So interesting that the Celluloid Manufacturing Company came out of a concern for the diminishing elephant population that were being killed for their ivory. So sad, that it never changed. There is still that insatiable lust for ivory products, particularly in the Asian market.

    Thanks for sharing Holly. This has got to be the most informative article I have ever read on plastics.

    1. Thank you so much, Carl for your lovely compliment. Researching and writing the article was Divinely inspired and from the Heart. ... and thank you for caring. Holly