Richard Kirby, a marine biologist based in Plymouth, England, was looking at zooplankton wriggling under a microscope when he spotted something else: shreds of plastic pieces interlaced with the tiny creatures.
Ottawa's ban on a handful of single-use plastic items is cause for celebration, but bigger changes are required from government and consumers to stem plastic waste, especially at Christmas, a pollution expert says.
When Zhanyun Wang was a kid, his mother told him to avoid the sweet-smelling gases that sometimes drifted across his neighbourhood near Shanghai from nearby plastic factories. Anything that smelled "really nice," the now-researcher at the University of Zurich explained, was "probably very toxic."
Canada has joined a global coalition of countries pushing for a proposed international treaty to tackle the world's plastic pollution crisis. Led by Norway and Rwanda, the group of 20 countries will push for rules to reduce plastic production and eliminate plastic pollution by 2040.