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Plastic Shreds, Rubber Bands and Balloon Pieces Found in Thai Turtle
The turtle washed up on the beach on June 4, Weerapong Laovechprasit, a veterinarian at the Eastern Marine and Coastal Resource Research and Development Centre told AFP.
X-rays on the reptile revealed a blockage in its stomach. A team of vets tried to save the turtle and feed it intravenously, but it died two days later, AFP reported.
A necropsy on the turtle uncovered plastic shreds from fishing gear, rubber bands and other marine debris clogged in its stomach.
"It was feeling weak and couldn't swim," Weerapong told AFP. "The main cause of death is the sea trash."
Green turtles are classified as endangered, according to the WWF, due to "overharvesting of their eggs, hunting of adults, being caught in fishing gear and loss of nesting beach sites."
Around the world, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste gets dumped in our oceans every year. A 2015 study found that 60 percent of the world's plastic waste comes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist and lecturer at Kasetsart University, told AFP that about 300 marine animals including pilot whales, sea turtles and dolphins die each year in Thailand after ingesting plastic.
"It's a huge problem," he said. "We use a lot of plastic."
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It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.
By Jake Johnson
Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.
The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.
The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.