A man in Liverpool is recovering in hospital this morning, after suffering what is thought to be Great Britain's first recorded incidence of a sustained and unprovoked attack by plastic bags.
The man, Tosh Heggarty, 43, was waiting for a bus near to a disused industrial estate in the city when the attack happened. The victim, who was alone, claims he was set upon by as many as 2000 bags, and has not spoken since.
Merseyside Police say they were notified of the attack after medical services had rushed Mr Heggarty to Liverpool Royal Infirmary, where he underwent an emergency operation to remove a plastic bag which had become lodged in his rectum.
Dr John Cranium, who operated on Mr Heggarty, said:
"At one stage it was touch-and-go."
Liverpool City Council has claimed there have been significant problems within the city with regard to recycling, but this is the first time that anyone has been attacked by plastic bags.
Police have said in a statement that this is an isolated incident, and that the public should not be "unduly worried".
Det Chief Inspector Mike Hunt, leading the investigation, said:
"The public should be on their guard, exercise extreme caution, and take normal precautions, like using jute bags or grannies' shopping trolleys rather than millions of plastic bags which can take up to 1000 years to biodegrade, whatever that is."