Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Pilot whale dies after ingesting 80 plastic bags

Pilot whale dies after ingesting 80 plastic bags

Although the animal vomited five plastic bags during the rescue operation, it wasn't able to resist the ingestion of 80 plastic bags and other plastic items.

The whale was found in a canal in the southern Thai province of Songkhla on Monday (May 28) and for the next five days a team of veterinarians struggled to rescue it.

Jatuporn Buruspat, head of the department, said they planned to raise public awareness of the problem on World Oceans Day on June 8 and call for reduced use of plastic.

Peter Thomson, the U.N. Secretary General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, told CBS News, "there is no quick fix to this big problem and many processes and methods will be required to correct the wrongs that we have brought upon the ocean with our plastic plague". "This plastic rubbish made the whale sick and unable to hunt for food", the department said.

Thai people use huge numbers of plastic bags and authorities there have introduced campaigns to encourage people to cut back or introduce reusable bags. Upon post-mortem investigation, it was discovered that the whale had ingested more than 17 pounds of plastic, including 80 shopping bags, which had inhibited its ability to eat. They discussed ways to reduce discarded plastics.

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"We have a goal to reduce plastic waste by adjusting policies and practices, from their beginning in the production line, then on to consumers' hands and on to waste management at the end", said Wijarn Simachaya at the environment ministry. Kenya past year enacted the world's toughest law against plastic bags.

Each year, about 300 marine animals, including turtles and dolphins are dying due to the fact that swallow packets, say marine biologists.

Besides killing marine life, plastic waste clogs waterways, and has been blamed for deadly floods in cities such as Mumbai to Manila.

Greenpeace's Tara urged the government to quickly enact regulations.

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