I was wonder how long it takes plastic to biodegrade and if there is anything a person can or should do to facilitate the process for plastics in the outdoors.
I know that optimally "Carry in, Carry Out" and "Leave no trace" mean you should not see any plastic in the outdoors that gets left behind. Things don't always go perfectly and, so if there is a plastic item that is not going to be leaving the area with you what should you know and do?. Related What should I do about large trash left by others on USFS land?
I did a little research and found
Plastic can be biodegradable and that is good. For more on this please read: Are Plastics Biodegradable?
Plastics can take hundreds or 1,000+ years to biodegrade and that is bad. For more information read the following: How Long Does It Take a Plastic Bottle to Biodegrade?
Plastics can biodegrade fast and that may be worse (Plastic Breaks Down in Ocean, After All -- And Fast).
So me and a piece of plastic are alone in the great outdoors, and we are not leaving together. There is no chance we will see each other again, and very little that a new human will bond with the plastic in next year or even for decades. What do I need to know to limit the environmental impact of plastic in the outdoors?