ocean plastic

Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

On Saturday, another shocking event revealed the menace of the large amounts of plastic in the oceans. A young dead whale that washed up in the Philippines had ingested 40 kg of plastic.

The whale had died from “gastric shock” from consuming many plastic bags. The young curvier beaked whale was washed ashore and its autopsy by Marine biologists and volunteers from the D’Bone Collector Museum revealed the shocking truth.

ocean plastic
Photo courtesy of Darrell Blatchley’s FB page

Released on Saturday evening, the result of the necropsy, conducted by Blatchley and Dr. Elaine Vera Belvis of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Fishery Management Regulatory and Enforcement Division showed “all stomach compartments were full of foreign materials such as plastics of varying sizes and shapes, sacks, among others.”

Their Facebook page said, “40 kilos of plastic bags, including 16 rice sacks. 4 banana plantation style bags and multiple shopping bags” in the whale’s stomach after conducting an autopsy.

There have been similar incidents in the past where sea creatures have died after eating plastic but this one has the most plastic anyone has ever reported.

“It’s disgusting,” they added. “Action must be taken by the government against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsters.”

“I was not prepared for the amount of plastic,” the museum’s founder and president, Darrell Blatchley, told broadcaster CNN. “It was so big, the plastic was beginning calcification.”

Its death came shortly after a report for the UK government revealed the level of plastic in the ocean could triple in a decade unless steps are taken to curb litter.

The South-East Asian countries have a big problem with throwaway plastics. The plastic from developed countries also ends up in these countries and usually ends up in landfills and waterways.