40 Kg Plastic Found Inside Whale That Washed Up in Philippines

16 rice sacks, 4 plastic bags, multiple shopping bags & other small pieces of plastic were recovered from the whale.

Published22 Mar 2019, 04:03 PM IST
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2 min read

A whale that washed up on the shores of Philippines had consumed 40 kg of plastic trash – which likely caused its death. Activists termed it one of the worst cases of poisoning ever seen.

The Cuvier's beaked whale was seen by locals – still barely alive – floating in the shallows after it washed ashore in Compostela Valley, the Philippines on 16 March, just after 5 am.

Sixteen rice sacks, four plastic bags used in banana plantations, multiple shopping bags, and hundreds of other small pieces of plastic packaging were recovered from the whale’s guts. All of them had been floating in the ocean before being swallowed by the marine creature.

Philippines is being criticised for being one of the largest consumers of single-use plastic, according to Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternative.

The situation is similar to the shores of Aldabra in the Indian ocean where wildlife like the famous giant tortoise are threatened by an estimated 1,000 tonnes of plastic waste.

With a bottle cap stuck on its beak, this ibis bird could starve to death.

A bottle cap stuck on the bird’s beak.
A bottle cap stuck on the bird’s beak.
(Photo: AP Screenshot)
The Aldabra giant tortoise, from the islands of the Aldabra (world’s largest atolls) in the Seychelles, is one of the largest tortoises in the world.
The giant tortoise of Aldabra
The giant tortoise of Aldabra
(Photo: AP Screenshot)

Scientists estimate there could be up to 1,000 tonnes of plastic waste on Aldabra –from bottles and ropes, to flip flops.

Around 2.5 billion people live on the shores of the Indian Ocean – from East Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian sub-continent and Southeast Asia.

Sadly, more than 8 million tonnes of plastic make its way into the ocean each year, killing millions of birds and marine creatures, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

With mounting plastic waste, how many more lives will it take before measures are taken to curb plastic consumption?

(With inputs from AP)

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