Dead Whale Washes Ashore With Almost 100 Pounds Of Plastic In Its Stomach

A Cuvier's beaked whale washed ashore in 2018.Silver Leapers/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Activists call for better regulation in the use and disposal of single-use plastics.

In the Philippines, a dead whale that had ingested nearly 100 pounds of plastic washed ashore, sparking concern about the harmful effects of single-use plastic.

Researchers from D'Bone Collector Museum, an organization that retrieves and preserves dead animals, recovered the body of the young male Cuvier’s beaked whale and said it "had the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale."

The whale had eaten 88 pounds of plastic bags, including 16 rice sacks and multiple shopping bags, according to a Facebook post from the museum. The organization will release a complete list of items found in the whale within the next few days.

"It's disgusting," the museum said. "Action must be taken by the government against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsters."

According to a 2015 report by environmental campaigner Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, more than 50 percent of plastic in our oceans comes from five countries: Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The pollution off the shores of these countries has caused the deaths of multiple whales in recent years. In November, a whale found on a shore in Indonesia had 115 plastic cups and two flip-flops in its stomach.

With the current trend of plastic use and disposal, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, according to an estimate by the World Economic Forum.

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