Plastic bits may be engineered to biodegrade into smaller plastic elements, but they do not ever go away.
Sea birds and fish, including whales, dolphins and porpoises are dying from ingesting plastic. The seas have oceans within of floating plastic with everything from auto parts to pop lids and portions of such. While feeding whales take in the plastic, sometimes large chunks and it stays in the stomach taking the space that food should, eventually either poisoning the animal or causing it to die of starvation.
We do not see this, so we do not pay much attention and continue to drink bottled water and soft drinks and throw the caps away. Everything comes in a plastic wrapper or bag or box. Even organics come in plastic unless they are farm fresh and even then consumers demand a plastic bag which they throw out.
But there is hidden plastic. There is a store in town where every item is plastic. Now the normal consumer would not even equate their purchases to plastic from that store, but everything from shoes, to sweaters to jewellry is plastic. Plastic can be engineered to appear like almost anything. Flooring, earrings, boots, socks, t shirts - you name it - can be made of a form of plastic. But what happens to the plastic clothing and footwear? Because it is cheap, it is also expendable and when a style changes , the clothing is changed too, contributing to the never ending cycle of consumerism, buying more and more and more and filling the world with plastic.
Even on the farm I cannot escape plastic. The obstetric gloves I have in case I need to assist a ewe with delivery are plastic. The intubation tube is plastic in case I have to tube feed a weak kid goat. My purchased salad in winter comes in plastic boxes and everything from the grocery store is plastic. Most of the trash from the farm is plastic. The twine around the bales is one of the worst offenders. If animals ingest the twine inadvertently while feeding, they can and often do die. Every morsel of that twine must be painstakingly removed to ensure that no animal ends up with it in their systems, but in the dead of winter when it is frozen to the hay, that is not the most simple task.
I am trying not to buy clothing made from plastic. That includes fleece sweaters, polyester blouses and tops, fake leather purses and shoes, and so on. I am doing well, but not well enough. If you look around my little house, there is likely much less plastic than in most houses. The flooring is wood, not plastic laminate. I do not have a plastic (acrylic) bath tub and my furniture does not include particle board (glued with oil based glue) or vinyl coverings.
How can you make a difference? Well, stop buying plastic. I try to buy canned goods in glass and many organic companies offer those products at a premium price. I avoid plastic containers and lids and clothing. Instead of fleece, I wear felted wool, but I do admit to owning several fleece jackets and sweaters. My goal is to cease owning plastic though. Fleece never breaks down and animals love to eat it for some reason.
Please, will you join in my quest to avoid plastic? If each of us made a concerted effort to change just a little at a time, the world would be a better place already and the animals and fish would be grateful. Won't you?