Save Marine Life by Reducing Plastic Waste

Target: Dr. Wijam Simachaya, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Kingdom of Thailand

Goal: Stop mass amounts of mismanaged plastic waste from killing marine animals by minimizing the use of plastic.

A pilot whale that washed ashore in Thailand tragically died after five days in the care of veterinarians, who removed 17 pounds of plastic from the whale’s stomach. They pulled about 80 soaking wet plastic trash bags from inside the whale. Plastic debris is a global problem and is massively dangerous to wildlife—especially marine animals, because so much of this waste ends up in the ocean, where these animals mistake it for food. This is what scientists at the Thailand Department of Marine and Coastal Services say is the likely cause of this pilot whale’s death. As Nick Mallos of the Ocean Conservancy states, “Whether it’s a straw or whether it’s a bottle cap, those items can be eaten by animals, and they pose threats through getting stuck in their digestive tracts. It can tear their stomachs. So these products in their entirety are problematic, but what’s equally, if not even more, concerning is that over time these materials are in the ocean, they begin to break up into smaller and smaller pieces.”

According to a study in the journal Science, Thailand was among the six countries with the most “mismanaged plastic waste” in 2010. In light of the example of this whale’s death—which is one of the hundreds of thousands of marine deaths caused by plastic that go largely unnoticed by humans—many are calling on Thailand’s government to take action to reduce plastic by taxing either producers or consumers. As Enric Sala, a marine ecologist with National Geographic, points out, “Every minute [there] is the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic going into the ocean. The problem is so huge, but the solution is easy. We can stop plastic from getting into the ocean, and this has to happen at different levels.” Sign below to demand that Thailand do its part and reduce its plastic waste to save our oceans.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Simachaya,

The horrific death of a pilot whale that washed ashore on the beaches of Thailand with 17 pounds of plastic lodged in its stomach is indicative of the massive threat posed to our ocean environments and marine life by plastic waste. This threat cannot continue to go unchecked. According to marine ecologist Enric Sala, “Every minute [there] is the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic going into the ocean.” Thailand must do its part to help solve this problem.

A study reported that Thailand was one of the top countries with “mismanaged plastic waste” in the year 2010. This problem is rampant in the Asia-Pacific region in particular, and it is therefore your responsibility to ensure that your country does its part. Now is the time to reduce Thailand’s plastic waste and ensure that it is better managed, by imposing taxes either on companies that produce these plastics or on the consumers who use them. I urge you to protect our environment for future generations, and to save the lives of the innocent creatures being killed by human waste. Please take steps immediately to reduce Thailand’s plastic use and keep our oceans clean.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fabi Fliervoet

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23 Comments

  1. Why point the finger solely at Thailand? Every country in this world is responsible for the mess we have made of this planet. First world countries are the biggest irresponsible wasters and we all have a duty to be more responsible and reduce our own use of plastics plus urge our governments to force manufacturers to also do something about it.

    • tania connor says:

      Great comment . We are all responsible for plastic waste not just thailand . We all need to stop . We all need to take drastic action now .

    • I have been to many, many countries around the world & Thailand is by far the worst place I have ever visited for dumped plastic bottles, they are absolutely everywhere. Just open your eyes & be honest. ..that is “Why Thailand”

    • People should re-cycle everything and Councils should make sure they collect re-cycling bags. Anyone caught dumping stuff inappropriately should be heavily fined, gradually ALL countries should implement Laws to make people responsible for their own rubbish.

  2. Send this petion also to United States and Japan.
    They didn’t signed at the last G7-Meeting.

  3. How are the blood sucking plastic manufactures going to make blood money??—YES BIG TAXING–BIG FINES–HOW DID THIS WORD SURVIVE WITHOUT PLASTIC CONTAINERS YEARS GONE BY??–MORE STURDY PAPER /BOTTLES THAT ARE RECYCLABLES–BIG FINES FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE CAUGHT LITTERING THE OCEANS/BEACHES–HUMANS CAN SURVIVE OR DO WITHOUT PLASTIC CONTAINERS–MAKE ALL CAPS RECYCLABLE —GIVE INCENTIVE TO PEOPLE WHO COLLECT THESE HAZARDS THAT KILL/POLLUTE THE OCEANIC BEINGS/WILD LIFE.

  4. We ALL need to do a better job at recycling. Sad.

  5. What is wrong with the humane race, they ruin everything that they touch

  6. Everyone, Thailand, the US,Australia, the UK- we are all responsible for this filth- our oceans and their life are being destroyed and it is up to us to clean up the disgusting mess we have made. We are all guilty and we must ALL work to make a healthy, clean planet. Recycle everything, teach children what to recycle-see how much they can collect- they love a challenge.

  7. Deborah Boychuk says:

    Wish it could be done, but accept reality. The whole world would have to stop using plastic. EVERYTHING is connected in someway with plastic

  8. leilani puerto says:

    Plastic can be made from plants and be biodegrade. There is no excuse as to why these harmful plastics shouldn’t be banned world wide already.

  9. Nadine Brundage says:

    All countries are responsible for curbing the use of plastic that is killing the environment and the animals that inhabit this planet. Each greedy government needs to crackdown on the overuse of plastic.

  10. We are all responsible for the plastic waste that goes into our oceans and kills wildlife. Companies that make plastic. Consumers who use plastics them discard into our waterways without a thought to the wildlife that consumes this plastic and dies. The human race is disgraceful and uncaring no matter where. It starts with the consumer. Say NO to plastic.

    • Disagree with you a bit because plastic is useful and lighter than glass ( bottles) BUT it can be recycled and if EVERYONE disposed of their rubbish responsibily there would not be a problem. Each country should fine heavily people/companies caught dumping anything in the oceans and seas. Ships docking should have to show their rubbish to prove that they had not dumped anything at sea- a cruise liner/tanker should have quite a lot of rubbish when returning to shore. If they have no rubbish ask where it went. Shame the big shipping companies and yacht owners into proving that they do not dump at sea. I find plastic really useful and never throw any into the sea, a lot of people re-cycle properly.

  11. Rene Patterson says:

    The ones responsible for this mess are those who are dumping garbage in the oceans, not plastic companies. Yes, everyone needs to take recycling seriously. (Our family has been recycling since the Seventies. When I was a kid, there used to be lots of Public Service Announcements encouraging people to stop littering, to “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!” and so on. The campaign that stuck with me the most as a kid was the crying Indian who was heartbroken, watching modern people littering everywhere he went. Why don’t we see campaigns like those on TV anymore?) And if companies want to replace their plastic packaging with paper products, great. But the people responsible for all the mess of trash in the oceans are whoever is dumping garbage right into the ocean, nobody else!!

    Let’s say all countries halt making plastic tomorrow. Yippee, slap yourselves on the back, whatever. Next week, there will still be trash in the seas, paper trash, cloth trash, glass containers, metal, and whatever else the companies would replace plastics with. The point is, if illicit activities are taking place, such as various countries getting rid of their garbage by dumping it in the oceans, or setting garbage barges adrift, then the problem of pollution in the oceans will continue, just with different materials! Efforts to stop this mess need to be directed at hunting down WHO is doing this, and making each countries’ authorities hold them responsible for the mess they’ve made!

    Once the polluters have been arrested/stopped around the world, then there can be discussions between nations on how to clean up the floating trash islands that are drifting about in the world’s oceans. It would be a monumental clean-up project, one that would take years, if not decades. I read recently that the floating Great Pacific Trash-heap is bigger than the state of Texas! (Of course, one has to wonder how much of that could still be debris from Japan that was dragged out to sea after the 2011 tsunami?) It is shameful that no country has done anything about this all this time. It HAS TO START by arresting the trash collection companies around the world who are dumping trash into the seas as a normal means for them to process their country’s garbage!

  12. BAN THIS TRASH TO SAVE EARTH NOW.

  13. MAKE LAWS TO END THE PLASTIC TRASH NOW.

  14. Lisa Allred says:

    Signed & Shared❗️😠

  15. Plastic must be controlled, more policing of garbage dumpers and big fines. Use the plastic to pave roads or do something good with it!!!

  16. When will governments put the brakes on companies using plastics? Weren’t scientists experimenting with cornstarch, (for a cornstarch based-plastics-alternative?)
    ALL countries NEED to WAKE the ” $&@* ” up.

  17. Julie Bates says:

    WOWWWW Rene and Ken ya exactly CORRECT…
    Teach kids MAKE them follow at home ….I did this with my grandsons and now as men 22,20 they make me proud!!
    Perhaps glass is the answer ???

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