A dead whale washed on a beach in eastern Indonesia had more than 1,000 pieces of plastic waste in the…
Rescuers at Wakatobi National Park found rotten carcasses of 9.5m sperm whale on Monday night near the park in southeastern Sulawesi province.
They had received a report from environmentalists whose villagers had surrounded the elections and started slaughtering the rotten carcasses, said park manager Heri Santoso.
WWF scientists and the conservation academy of the park found about 5.9 kg of plastic waste in the stomach of the animal.
Among the debris were 1
15 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, two flip flops, a nylon bag and more than 1000 other plastics, Santoso said.
“Although we have not been able to derive the cause of death, facts like we are really terrible,” says Dwi Suprapti, a marine conservation coordinator species at WWF Indonesia.
She said it was not possible to determine whether the plastic had caused the death of the election due to the animal’s advanced due date.
Indonesia is the world’s second largest plastic polluter behind China, according to a study in the journal Science published in January.
The 260 million people’s archipelago produces 3.2 million tonnes of abrasive plastic waste per year, of which 1.29 million tonnes end up in the sea, the study said.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, said the valence discovery should raise public awareness of the need to reduce plastic use and had urged the government to take more stringent measures to protect know.
“I’m so sorry to hear this,” says Mr. Pandjaitan, who has requested less use of plastic.
“It is possible that many other marine animals are also contaminated with plastic waste and this is very dangerous for our lives.”
He said the government made efforts to reduce the use of plastics, including calling on the stores to not provide plastic bags to customers and to educate the problem in schools to meet a government goal to reduce plastic use by 70% in 2025.  “This great ambition can be achieved if people learn to understand that plastic waste is a common enemy,” he added.