A small male pilot whale has died in southern Thailand after ingesting more than 80 plastic bags. The sick whale was found in a canal near the border with Malaysia where rescuers failed to nurse the mammal back to health.
An autopsy report revealed that there were about 80 plastic bags weighing up to 8kg (17lbs) stuffed in the whale’s stomach.
Marine biologists believe that this whale mistook floating plastic debris for food. Plastic bags, once swallowed, cannot be digested or passed so it stays in the whale’s stomach. Thus the bags probably made it impossible for the whale to eat any real food such as squid or cuttlefish and led it to starve to death.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time whales have died from swallowing trash. Thailand is one of the world’s largest consumers of plastic bags. The Thai waters are some of the most polluted waters known to be filled with floating plastic debris, especially bags.
A report suggests that at least 300 marine animals including pilot whales, sea turtles, and dolphins, perished each year in Thai waters after swallowing plastic.
The Bangkok Post has reported earlier this May, that the Thai government is considering introducing a tax on disposable plastic shopping bags to cut down on plastic waste.
Many countries around the world have banned single-use plastic items such as plastic bags as their disposal is an environmental disaster! Think twice before you carelessly discard a plastic bag!
Written By: Biyash Choksey