Illustration of a camel -

Karim Sahib / AFP

A researcher reported on March 23 that he discovered 2,000 plastic bags in the body of a camel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

According to Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of an institute for the fight against plastic pollution, the pile had the size of "a big suitcase".

The bags were "where the stomach of the animal should have been", details the American researcher in a column published in the

Washington Post


He says he "failed to believe it" when he made this discovery between the ribs of a dead camel, buried in the sand.

“Much of the world still perceives plastic pollution as a problem limited to the ocean… This is wrong.

The camels are only the latest casualties occurring in all environments on this planet due to plastic. ”

- No Plastic Waste (@No_PlasticWaste) April 13, 2021

Like a human with 50 plastic bags in his stomach

“After two decades at sea, I thought I had seen it all,” writes Marcus Eriksen, who has long studied marine pollution.

“But with the camels, we reached new heights in horror.

“Since 2008, 300 camels have indeed died around Dubai after ingesting rubbish, revealed the researcher in a study published in February in the

Journal of Arid Environments


For the researcher, it is as if a human has 50 plastic bags in the stomach.

"You can not digest them, they cause ulcers, a very strong discomfort and a permanent feeling of satiety", explains Marc Eriksen, specifying that the plastic caused intestinal bleeding, obstruction, dehydration and malnutrition in the camel.

The American warned that elephants and reindeer were suffering the same fate.

"We must stop talking about plastic pollution as if it were confined to our oceans and start talking about global pollution […] putting lives at risk everywhere," he said.


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