If I were an artist (or knew how to use Photoshop), I’d re-create Van Gogh’s famous painting of potato eaters with a plate of Visa and Mastercards in the middle of the table instead. That’s the surreal and horrific image in my mind’s eye after reading yesterday that the World Wildlife Fund reports Australian researchers estimate that on average, each human on earth ingests 5 grams–a credit card’s worth–of plastic EVERY WEEK, God help us. It’s because improperly handled plastic waste has degraded into nanoplastics contaminating virtually every water system in the world, not to mention our air, and as a result, many foods. We’re in the midst of an unprecedented experiment on the effects of plastic ingestion on human health, and there’s a lot we can and should be doing to address the problem–using less plastic whenever we can, urging companies that make our products to do the same, and getting governments to create legislation to address the problem. Europe is making strides in this area, according to what I read, and while it seems improbable that anything could happen in the US on this front under Trump, it’s important for us to have the problem on our radar if we do achieve a change in administration next year. Technology could help, too, if deployed well: it was recently reported that ferroliquids have been invented that could remove marine microplastics. In the meanwhile, though there’s no way to avoid it (water itself being the single largest dietary plastic source!), I think our goal has to be neither to panic nor to repress this terrible knowledge. It’s a feat we need to practice often, it seems, these days.