Int'l: Dead whale found in Indonesia had over 1,000 pieces of plastic in stomach

Date: 
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 17:45

A dead sperm whale that washed ashore in a national park in Indonesia had nearly 6kg (13 lbs) of plastic waste in its stomach, park officials say.

Items found included 115 drinking cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags and two flip-flops.

The carcass of the 9.5m (31ft) mammal was found in waters near Kapota Island in the Wakatobi National Park late on Monday.

The discovery has caused consternation among environmentalists.

"Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly awful," Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation co-ordinator at WWF Indonesia, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

It was not possible to say whether the plastic had caused the whale's death because of its advanced state of decay, she added.

In a tweet, WWF Indonesia gave the breakdown of what was found inside the animal: "Hard plastic (19 pieces, 140g), plastic bottles (4 pieces, 150g), plastic bags (25 pieces, 260g), flip-flops (2 pieces, 270g), pieces of string (3.26kg) & plastic cups (115 pieces, 750g)."

The use of throwaway plastic is a particular problem in some South East Asian countries, including Indonesia.

 - bbc.com

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