We have all grown up hearing about plastic's danger to the environment. Not only does it rely on fossil fuel for its primary input, but it consumes too much energy to produce. Of course, that's just the beginning. Even the "recyclable" or "biodegradable" plastics have not lived up to their billing. Less than 10% has been recycled, and plastic production will account for 19% of the global carbon budget by 2040.

But the environmental crisis is not without potential remedies, and the planet is capable of miraculous feats of regeneration. Humans might have pioneered the destructive use of plastic, but an unexpected hero could potentially clean up the mess. Of all things, fungi may be able to undo some of plastic pollution's damage to the environment.