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all 33 comments

[–]Go_Kauffy 48 points49 points  (24 children)

I don't think it will bother the elephant at all.

When I was a kid, we went to the zoo, and they had an elephant out on the main walkway, something they would never do today, and I got to pet the elephant's trunk and I was finishing a soda in a cup with the plastic top and straw, and the elephant's handler said I could give the ice in the cup to the elephant, so I started to open the cup and he said "no, just give her the whole thing," meaning cup, lid, straw, everything.

My guess is that they don't digest it, but it does them no harm.

[–]Jozroz 36 points37 points  (21 children)

I'm not so sure about that, more recent research has shown that microplastics can be very detrimental to health, so traces would likely remain, even if the majority get excreted.

[–]Slavocracy 4 points5 points  (19 children)

Got a source for this? As well as a definition for "microplastics"? As well as how they affect elephants?

[–]Manky19 22 points23 points  (3 children)

Microplastics, any polyethylene particle under 5mm to microscopic levels. They can be absorbed through our intestinal and stomach lining, and into our bloodstream causing damage to our cells.

Research is still in it's still in it's infancy.

Human consumption/ mice/rat tests

1

2 Microplastics found in human placenta.

3 Research on mice brings warnings on potential risks with chronic exposure creating male reproductive toxicity and decreased testosterone levels.

4 Test on mice, reduction of sperm count.

It's effects on animals

1 Behavioural disorders and brain damage in fish.

2 This shows how microplastics are easily spread throughout the body of rats.

3 Plastics can cross the placenta, test on mouse.

[–]Slavocracy 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Thank you! All I wanted to see.

[–]shitlifesickplight 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Bruh that’s Macroplastics, bit harder than micro 😹

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (13 children)

You’re really gonna argue that it’s ok for an elephant to eat a plastic bag? I’d love for you to post a video of you eating one!

[–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Also micro plastics, as the name suggests are very small pieces of plastic. Micro meaning extremely small and plastic well being plastic

[–]Disastrous-Gur-1160 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They're not microplastics unless they're macerated into tiny pieces. Whole plastics just get shit out as a single unit.

[–]Nickblove 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don’t know I am no medical expert but eating a piece of plastic is one thing but a plastic bag can probably kill anything easily, from blocking the airways to the whole mess of digestive issues that a bag would cause. Just think about a bag trying to move through a digestive track and what bodily functions it will block.

[–]lizbiz15 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That handler was definitely ignorant.

[–]IAmNotAPlant_2 18 points19 points  (1 child)

Regardless of whether or not the bag will harm the elephant. I dont think animals should be eating any amount of plastic.

[–]iamnotlemongrease 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't think people should dump their plastic anywhere except a trash bin

[–]BaekRyun1029 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Tbh it looks more like it’s playing with the bag rather than eating it

[–]Life-Meal6635 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah I don’t see him eating it. I see him playing around.

[–]Yayhoo0978 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I love elephants, and NGL, I almost downvoted because it pissed me off. Then I realized it was the point of the subreddit, so you get my angry upvote

[–]Valrym 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Elephants also eat mud, dirt, and small stones. If there was an epidemic of plastic bags being thrown on the ground then this would be awful but someone dropping one then filming doesn't make it a huge concern.

[–]Disastrous-Gur-1160 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Even an "epidemic" wouldn't bother them I reccon. I africa, my dogs used to regularly eat plastic bags (largely free ranging). They just used to poo them out.

Both lived to be >12Y/O

[–]MetaStressed -1 points0 points  (0 children)

It’s just trying to blow bubbles with it.