As another grim reminder that everyone needs to prevent plastic from getting into the ocean, a dead Cuvier's beaked whale was found to have nearly 90 pounds of plastic products in its stomach.
The 1,100-pound marine mammal was found in the Philippines, which is the world’s third-biggest contributor of plastics to the earth’s oceans, behind Indonesia and China. The Philippines is trying to address the problem, but the country does not enforce its existing laws, relies heavily on cheap plastic products and has no strong recycling culture.
When a whale ingests plastic, it gives it a false sensation of fullness and stops consuming what it should be eating. A lack of nutrition then leads it to become weak and either falls prey to predators or dies of malnutrition.
This is not the first whale with a large quantity of plastic in its stomach. Last year whales in Thailand and Indonesia were also found with multiple pounds of plastic in their systems.
This article in The New York Times has more information.