A whale washed ashore a beach in the Philippines on March 17 with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach. The whale did not survive.
An examination of the whale showed the trash was mostly in the form of plastic bags, according to a story in The New York Times . Some had been in the whale’s stomach so long it had turned into a hard, solid mass.
The Philippines is the third-largest contributor in the world of plastic refuse in the ocean, after China and Indonesia.
About 8 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year, according to a 2015 study in Science.
The plastic in the ocean becomes dangerous for animals because they mistake it for food. The bits of plastic get stuck in their digestive systems, staying there forever. Taking up space in their stomachs, the plastic keeps animals from consuming enough nutrients and eventually kills them.
The whale is one of many animals afflicted by plastic pollution in the oceans. Despite efforts from startup Ocean Cleanup, no success has been made in cleaning the oceans and humans continue to add plastic to the waters.