x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Plastic bags biggest killers

Globally, about 100,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals die each year after ingesting them.

Goats make a meal out of a rubbish pile near the UAE-Oman border.
Goats make a meal out of a rubbish pile near the UAE-Oman border.

DIBBA // It is not just camels that are dying after eating discarded rubbish. This picture shows goats at a landfill site near the UAE-Oman border at Dibba, roaming through rubbish and munching on plastic bags and other household waste. Workers were creating landfill sites nearby, but the rubbish waiting to be buried had no barriers around it, allowing the goats to clamber over it.

Young animals die quickly from ingesting plastic bags, often from suffocation, but for older animals death may take time; the rubbish accumulates and calcifies into lumps that have been known to weigh as much as 20kg and which block the stomach, making feeding impossible. After months or even years of agony, these animals starve to death. Plastic bags are one of the biggest killers. Globally, about 100,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals die each year after ingesting them, according to Planet Art, an environmental group.

@Email:kattwood@thenational.ae