Plastic waste kills wild elephant in Kerala forest

And yet another incidence of devastating impact of plastic waste – an elephant was found dead due to consumption of plastic material.

The carcass of the wild elephant that died after feeding on plastic refuse.

Below is the excerpt from the article as published in The Hindu:

Elephant that fed on plastic waste dead

Stung by the death of a wild elephant which fed on plastic refuses, Forest Department officials are contemplating a ban on plastic in the Pampa, Sannidhanam and Nilakkal areas of Sabarimala. Discarded plastic refuses are posing threat to ecology and wild animals in the region.

The post mortem analysis of the animal, which was found dead at Valiyanavattom region, indicated that the animal, aged around 40, died of intestinal rupture, said Saseendanath, the forest veterinary surgeon who conducted the post mortem.

Plastic waste, including carry bags, food packets, aluminium foil packets and biscuit covers, was found in the intestine of the animal.

The article goes further:

Water bottles

Though plastic carry bags had been banned in the Periyar forest divisions earlier, there is no ban on the use of plastic in the region. Pilgrims are often found carrying plastic water bottles. Though there were some efforts to collect discarded bottles, management of plastic and other wastes was still an uphill task, he said.

The Hindu – Feb 06, 2014

Despite the ban on plastic carry bags, the enforcement remains a challenge. And plastic bottles, which are not banned, are increasingly seeing a hike in their consumption resulting in millions of tons of plastic waste that are not disposed properly. While the legal ban on it can definitely be a welcome move, the problem can only be fixed when the common people realize the issues and abandon using bottled water.