Sick whale with dozens of plastic bags in stomach dies

Cristina Cross
June 5, 2018

This image shows some of the plastic bags that were found in the stomach of the whale during an autopsy in Songkhla province, in southern Thailand.

Thailand is a major user of plastic bags and its government last month announced it was considering a levy on them.

Volunteers and veterinarians worked for several days to try and save the whale.

A pilot whale has died in southern Thailand after swallowing more than 80 plastic bags, the country's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources announced.

But it suffered convulsions during the rescue attempt and vomited five plastic bags shortly before it died.

An autopsy revealed 80 plastic bags weighing up to 8kg (18lb) in the creature's stomach, the veterinary team said.

"We use way too much plastic".

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From street vendors selling satay to shop clerks putting purchases into multiple bags, Thais use a huge amount of plastic.

Each year, Thailand puts over one million pounds of garbage into the ocean, making it one of the biggest offenders on earth, along with China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

A tragedy in Thailand is serving as a reminder of the waste littering the world's oceans.

Countries including the United Kingdom and India are banning straws and single-use bags, and forcing supermarkets to impose levies on plastic bags. Kenya a year ago enacted the world's toughest law against plastic bags.

Despite spitting out five plastic bags, the whale couldn't survive and passed away on Friday.

Our addiction to plastic is killing wildlife.

"Perhaps this (whale's death) will make people care more".

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