A whale was found with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach after it washed up in the Philippines.
The D’Bone Collector Museum, a natural history museum, was informed of the beached whale on March 16. It performed an autopsy and found the whale died of “dehydration and starvation” after consuming at least 16 rice sacks, four “banana plantation style bags,” and “multiple shopping bags,” some of which had begun to calcify in the whale’s body. The plastic made the whale unable to consume large amounts of food or water.
The museum said it was “the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale,” but the discovery is not uncommon. Another whale died of plastic ingestion in June 2018 after it swallowed 80 plastic bags off the coast of Thailand.
The Philippines and Thailand are two of the five nations that account for 60% of the plastic that ends up in oceans, according to environmental researchers. The UK government said the levels of plastic in the ocean will likely triple over the next 10 years if nothing is done to address it.
Currently between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic enter and pollute the ocean every single year.