A plastic bottle finds its way home, but its original owner is not so happy to see it.

This just may make you think differently about plastic — and might scare the sushi out of you too.


Could tossing a plastic bottle away possibly end up with you eating it in a fish? Here's what that journey might look like (and it's weirder than you might think).

1. Plastic never really goes away; it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. So the more plastic we make, the more we live with. Want to take a guess at how much plastic the world dumps in the ocean every year? Click here to find out. No wonder the latest National Geographic maps include the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and there's such thing as an expert in the plastisphere, studying a whole new dimension in marine life.

But there's more, and it's kind of like Frankenstein.

2. Tiny bits of marine plastic appear to bond with toxins in the sea. Those plastic bits may get tiny, even too small for us to see, but they are acting like little toxin magnets, taking up a scary collection of chemicals and metals from the water.

3. Fish like to eat tiny bits of plastic. Who knows why, but they do. And fish that eat the plastic-toxin bits end up with the toxin in their tissues and organs and get sick.

4. There is some evidence that the plastic-toxins might accumulate in our bodies too. The world is a crazy connected place. But the answer isn't to avoid eating fish, which is darn good for you. We just need to realize we can't ever really throw plastic away.

Here are three easy ways to do something about plastic in the ocean and in your fish:

  • Check out this scorecard of plastic performance, and don't buy from companies that aren't working to reduce packaging and to recycle.
  • Dude. Carry your own water bottle.
  • Take your own bags shopping.
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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.