Dead sperm whale found washed ashore with 115 cups in its stomach

К берегам Индонезии выбросило мертвого кашалота наевшегося пластика

Dead sperm whale found washed ashore with 115 cups in its stomach

The makers of "Plastic Britain: On Our Watch" will claim that Britons tend to pass the burden of plastic pollution onto Asian nations where the evidence is more prevalent.

A dead sperm whale was found washed ashore in Indonesia with almost 6kg of plastic waste in its stomach, according to park officials.

Dwi Suprapti, a World Wildlife Fund Indonesia marine species conservation co-ordinator said: "Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly terrible".

A man collects plastic items from a whale's belly in this picture obtained from social media.

Researchers opened the animal's stomach and found 115 plastic cups (750g), 19 hard plastic pieces (140g), four plastic bottles (150g), 25 plastic bags (260g), six wood splinters (740g), two rubber sandals (270g), one nylon sack (200g) and more than 1,000 pieces of plastic rope (3,260g).

The 31-foot whale carcass was found near Kapota Island in the Wakatobi National Park on Monday.

It's not clear if plastic was the direct cause of the whale's death since it was in an advanced state of decay when it was found, Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation co-ordinator at WWF-Indonesia, explained to the Associated Press.

Wakatobi park plans to bury the whale on Tuesday and its remains will be used for study by the local marine academy, Reuters reported. Two other whales - at least that we know of - this year have also washed ashore dead with their guts full of rubbish.

As NPR's Christopher Joyce has reported, Indonesia is the second-largest generator of plastic waste in the oceans, behind China. The overall aim is to reduce their plastic waste by 70 percent in the next seven years. The country creates more than three million tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste every year. The remaining half is either illegally burned or dumped into the country's waters.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia's coordinating minister of maritime affairs, said the whale's discovery should raise public awareness about the need to reduce plastic use.

"I'm so sad to hear this", said Pandjaitan, who recently has campaigned for less use of plastic.

When marine animals see plastic waste, they frequently mistake it for food. He vowed that the government would bolster its efforts to stop plastic from reaching oceans in the near future.

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