Dead sperm whale found washed ashore with 115 cups in its stomach

Chris Parsons
News Editor
Rescuers inspect the sperm whale carcass in Indonesia. (WWF Indonesia/Kartika Sumolang)

A sperm whale which washed ashore in Indonesia was found dead with 115 plastic cups in its stomach.

Rescuers who found the 31ft mammal near Kapota, eastern Indonesia, said it had a huge lump of rubbish in its stomach made up of more than 1,000 plastic pieces.

Wakatobi National Park chief Heri Santoso said the mammal was male and the 13 pounds of trash in its stomach were identified as 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, two flip-flops, a nylon sack and more than 1,000 other plastic pieces.

Rescuers found flip flops, cups, plastic and even what appeared to be part of a plate inside the whale. (WWF Indonesia/Kartika Sumolang)

The cause of the death was still unknown and the carcass was to be buried on Tuesday without a necropsy (an animal autopsy) because of its decayed condition.

The shocking discovery comes amid rising concern over the harm of plastic pollution to animals and humans worldwide.

Researchers claim plastic fragments have been found in the faeces of people in Europe and Japan, meaning plastic could now exist in the human food chain.

Investigators could not confirm whether the huge amount of rubbish found inside the whale was his cause of death. (WWF Indonesia/Kartika Sumolang)

Last month the European Parliament voted on a complete ban on single use plastics, in a bid to curb pollution of the oceans.

MEPs backed a ban on plates, straws, cotton buds, plastic cutlery, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks.

One MEP claimed that if no action was taken against plastic pollution ‘by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean’.

The whale washed ashore in Kapota Island, Southeast Sulawesi, eastern Indonesia. (WWF Indonesia/Kartika Sumolang)

Meanwhile, an independent documentary set to hit UK screens next year will highlight Britons’ attitudes towards the growing problem.

The makers of ‘Plastic Britain: On Our Watch’ will claim that Britons tend to pass the burden of plastic pollution onto Asian nations where the evidence is more prevalent.

According to Greenpeace, Britain has shipped more than 2.7million tonnes of plastic waste to China and Hong Kong since 2012.