Sperm Whale Found Dead After Swallowing More Than 1,000 Pieces Of Plastic Waste

Plastic bottles, cups, bags, and slippers were found in the whale's stomach.

Cover image via Reuters/WWF

More than 1,000 pieces of plastic were recently found in the belly of a dead sperm whale in Indonesia

A statement released by the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry on 20 November read that the 9.5 metre-long carcass was found near Kapato Island in Wakatobi National Park.

Image via Reuters

Although the cause of the animal's death has yet to be determined, park officials found plastic bottles, bags, slippers, and a sack with more than 1,000 pieces of string in the whale's stomach

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) gave a breakdown of the discovered items:

- 19 pieces of hard plastic,
- Four plastic bottles,
- 25 plastic bags,
- Two pairs of slippers,
- 1,000 pieces of string (3.26kg), and
- 115 plastic cups.

It was a total of 6kg worth of plastic.

Image via WWF

In a similar case in June, a pilot whale was found in Thailand with 80 pieces of plastic rubbish in its stomach

The whale was taken in for veterinary treatment and had vomited out 80 plastic bags that had been clogging its stomach before it eventually died.

An autopsy revealed that the plastic waste found in the animal weighed up to 8kg.

A 2015 report by Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment revealed that more than 50% of plastic waste that are leaked into oceans come from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has not been entirely guilt-free of this waste problem

As the issue worsens in Malaysia, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin previously said that she aims to ban all single-use plastics nationwide by 2030.

Here's how you can start by doing your part to save the earth:

If you have unused electrical items, you can drop them off for recycling at these locations:

Switch your daily plastics to these more environmental-friendly versions:

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