Stop Plastic Pollution From Killing Elephants

Target: Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka

Goal: Remove plastic from dumps that poses threat to environmental and wildlife health.

An estimated 20 elephants have died as a direct result of an environmental menace in Sri Lanka. These animals are revered in the nation and their killing is prohibited. Yet an open landfill has very likely led to the deaths of the elephants. While searching for food in the landfill, the elephants are believed to have eaten large amounts of nonbiodegradable plastic. Over time, this toxic substance is a death sentence.

The Sri Lankan government had previously committed to actions that would address this crisis, from banning plastic imports to the current solution of digging trenches around the dump that has caused the most problems. And five years ago, the government announced a plan to recycle plastic waste in dumps that were in close proximity to wildlife zones. This latter initiative has never come to fruition, though, as 54 dumps containing plastic still remain in direct contact with wildlife zones and with the elephants that roam these areas.

Sign the petition below to demand Sri Lanka’s leadership honor its long past-due commitment.


Dear President Rajapaksa,

This country values its majestic elephants, so why is one of the most direct threats to their existence still unaddressed? Last yar, Sri Lanka saw a dramatic rise in elephant deaths, and much of this crisis has been attributed to the prevalence of plastic waste dumps (54, to be exact) within critical wildlife zones. Several years ago, this government promised that it would remove non-biodegradable waste from these dumps and recycle it.

The plastic still remains five years later, and the death toll keeps climbing. Plastic pollution is an urgent threat to all living beings, so a sincere commitment to curtailing this crisis will serve not only elephants but all animals and all humans. Please take action on waste dump plastic removal at once and, in the long run, a complete removal of dumps and the dangers they pose in wildlife habitats.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: E. Gilchrist

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