Vets reveal the plastic bags during the autopsy.

Whale death after eating 80 plastic bags reinforces Sri Lanka’s ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ campaign


Following our story on the ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ campaign in Sri Lanka, the world’s media reports the tragic death of a whale that swallowed 80 plastic bags.

The bags, weighing 8kg, were found during an autopsy after the pilot whale died in southern Thailand.

Says the Guardian UK: “The small male pilot whale was found barely alive in a canal near the border with Malaysia, the country’s department of marine and coastal resources said.”


The 80 plastic bags recovered from the whales stomach.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist and lecturer at Kasetsart University, said the bags had made it impossible for the whale to eat any nutritional food.

Thailand is one of the world’s largest users of plastic bags. Thon said at least 300 marine animals including pilot whales, sea turtles and dolphins, perished each year in Thai waters after ingesting plastic.

“It’s a huge problem,” he said. “We use a lot of plastic.”


A veterinary team tried to help stabilise its illness, but finally the whale died on Friday afternoon.

People used buoys to keep the whale afloat after it was first spotted, and an umbrella to shield it from the sun.

The whale’s plight generated sympathy and anger among Thai netizens. “I feel sorry for the animal that didn’t do anything wrong, but has to bear the brunt of human actions,” wrote one Twitter user.

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