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This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Plastics are everywhere. From the stomachs of deep-sea fish to human feces, Arctic snow to gusts of wind in the remote wilderness, the oil and gas byproduct has, barely a century after it was first synthesized in a laboratory, become a ubiquitous feature of virtually every ecosystem on Earth and every aspect of modern life.