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Whale dies from eating more than 80 plastic bags

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

A young whale washed up in the Philippines on Saturday

We really don't like writing about all the animals that die every day either directly or indirectly from plastic. But it's also the only way we can explain the impact that our every day purchases have on our environment. The autopsy of the animal by the marine biologists and volunteers from the D’Bone Collector Museum in Davao City, in the Philippine island of Mindanao, found a shocking 40kg of plastic in its stomach. The 16 rice sacks, 4 banana plantation style bags and multiple shopping bags caused death by gastric shock of the young Cuvier's beaked whale. The statement was released on the museum's Facebook page

more wildlife dying in ocean plastic

Last year already, a dead whale washed ashore in nearby Indonesia with 115 plastic cups, 25 plastic bags and a pair of foam and plastic flip flops in its stomach. In June, a whale died in southern Thailand after swallowing 8kg of plastic. While the D’ Bone Collector Museum biologists who conducted the autopsy say it is “the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale", the non-isolated case implies that many more animals are still at sea, dead or alive, with plastic in their bodies. Marine biologists estimate that at least three hundred marine animals, including pilot whales, sea turtles and dolphins, perish each year in Thai waters after ingesting plastic.

Rivers of Plastic

If you wonder how plastic ends up in the ocean, the answer is quite simple: all of our rivers lead to the ocean, and carry mismanaged plastic waste to the ocean. Many of the world's sewage systems directly lead to the ocean. On top of this, some of of the leaders in single-use plastic consumption do not have waste management systems in place, and still use the ocean as an accepted place for dumping waste, of any nature, particularly in Asia. Asia accounts for 8 of the 10 rivers that are responsible for bringing 90% of all ocean plastic (according to a study by scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research), as the region's key waterways all support large populations who rely on elementary or nonexistent waste management systems.

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