it has been revealed that the the death of a sperm whale found washed up on the southern coast of spain in february was caused by the 64 pounds of plastic debris found digested by the mammal. an autopsy found plastic bags, nets, ropes, plastic sacks, and even a plastic jerrycan in the whale’s stomach and intestines.




it was determined by the el valle wildlife rescue center that the 33 foot long sperm whale was killed by gastric shock caused by the ingestion of plastic. as reported by forbes, experts found the inner walls of the whale’s abdomen to be inflamed due to a bacterial or fungal infection likely a result of the whale unable to expel the plastics from its system, resulting in peritonitis.


as reported by forbes, the european union is pushing a transition to have all plastic recyclable or reusable by 2030 with many agencies around the world discussing phasing out non-biodegradable plastics completely. as a result of this particular incident, the murcia government has launched a campaign against dumping plastic waste into the coastal town’s water. the coastal community is working to raise awareness of the ever-growing plastic problem in oceans and the need for beach cleaning.


header image courtesy of dentsu jayme syfy, a representation of a dead whale from ingestion of plastic and art installation created for greenpeace philippines, increasing awareness of whales endangered by plastic pollution.