When it comes to single use plastic, Thailand ranks as one of the world’s largest with an average annual usage of 3,000 plastic bags for each resident for wrapping street food, carrying shopping and take-away drinks.
The result, seen in countries across the world, is plastic waste littering the streets and parks, clogging oceans and rivers and ultimately destroying the natural habitat of several different species of wildlife.
On November 25, the office of Khun Sathan National Park reported that park rangers found the carcass of an adult deer, weighing about 200kg, not far from the park’s office. The animal is believed to have died several days before its discovery.
Kriangsak Thanompun, director of the protected region in the Khun Sathan National Park, explained the autopsy of the deer revealed it had ‘‘plastic bags in the stomach, which is one of the causes of his death’’, Channel News Asia reported.
The deer is estimated to have been around 10 years old and park rangers believe its death was a combination of intestinal blockage and old age.
Khun Sathan National Park showed photos of the stomach contents removed during the autopsy which included bags of coffee grounds, instant noodle packaging, rubbish bags, towels, rubber gloves, handkerchiefs and even a pair of underpants.
Thanompun described the deer’s death as a ‘tragedy’, saying: ‘’It shows we have to take seriously and reduce… single-use plastic.’’
Thailand was ranked sixth on the list of the world’s worst offenders for dumping plastic waste into the ocean by the Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Center earlier this year. This places them behind China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
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