Pilot whale swallowed 7.7kg of plastic bags off Thailand

Katie Ramirez
June 5, 2018

Thon said at least 300 marine animals including pilot whales, sea turtles and dolphins, perished each year in Thai waters after ingesting plastic.

Thailand's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources says the small male pilot whale was found last week.

An autopsy revealed 80 plastic bags weighing up to 8kg (18lb) in the creature's stomach, the veterinary team said. The whale also vomited five bags during the rescue attempt before it died, the department said.

"We found a lot of plastic bags in the stomach, I think around 85 plastic bags", explained Dr Watchara Sakornwimon.

"This plastic rubbish made the whale sick and unable to hunt for food", the department said.

The European Commission on Monday proposed banning single-use plastic products, such as cotton buds and straws, and replacing them with environmentally sustainable alternatives in an effort to reduce marine litter.

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

Thailand is one of the world's biggest users of plastic bags, according to The Guardian.

Thai people use huge numbers of plastic bags and authorities there have introduced campaigns to encourage people to cut back or introduce reusable bags.

The country is one of the world's largest consumers of plastic bags.

A study published previous year found that 83 percent of water samples from more than a dozen nations were contaminated with plastic fibers.

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

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