13 pounds of plastic found in dead sperm whale

A stranded whale with plastic in his belly is seen in Wakatobi Southeast Sulawesi Indonesia

Officials at Wakatobi park, where the sperm whale was found, said the carcass would be buried and the remains would be used for scientific purposes at a local marine research center.

A sperm whale found dead in a national park in Indonesia had almost six kilogrammes (13.2 lbs) of plastic waste, including 115 cups, in its stomach, park officials said on Tuesday.

A dead whale has washed ashore with a large amount of plastic waste found inside his stomach.

Social Media / Reuters Plastic found in the whale's stomach.

The cause of death was not known, but park officials found plastic bottles, bags, sandals, and a sack with more than 1,000 pieces of string in the whale's stomach.

Environmentalists were unable to discover whether the animal was killed by the plastic because it had already decomposed significantly.

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"Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly bad", Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF Indonesia told the AP.

It's not clear if plastic was the direct cause of the whale's death since it was in an advanced state of decay when it was found, Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation co-ordinator at WWF-Indonesia, explained to the Associated Press.

In 2015, a study found that five Asian countries, including China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, accounted for almost two-thirds of all plastic waste making its way to oceans. More than one million tonnes of plastic end up in their oceans every year.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia's coordinating minister of maritime affairs, told the AP that the whale's plight should raise public awareness about the necessity to curb the use of plastic.

He said the government is making efforts to reduce the use of plastic, including urging shops not to provide plastic bags for customers and teaching about the problem in schools nationwide to meet a government target of reducing plastic use by 70% by 2025. They can get trapped in plastic waste as well.

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