Scientists in Norway found more than 30 plastic bags inside the stomach of a whale stranded in shallow waters off the island of Sotra, Norway. The creature had very little blubber and was emaciated, suggesting that the plastic had led to it becoming malnourished.
Cuvier’s beaked whales grow up to 22ft long and usually feed on squid and deep sea fish. They are not normally found in Norwegian waters. At the beginning of 2016 experts warned there will be more plastic than sealife in the oceans by 2050. At least 8 million tonnes of plastic already ends up in the ocean every year – the equivalent of a rubbish truck of waste every minute, according to the report from the World Economic Forum.
The rate of plastic pollution is only expected to increase as more and more plastic is used globally, especially in emerging economies with weaker waste and recycling regimes.
Some facts about plastic in our oceans
- Every year millions of tonnes of plastic debris such as bags, bottles and food packaging seeps into our oceans.
- As plastic degrades slowly, it pollutes the oceans for a long time.
- It breaks down into fragments called micro-plastics, which are ingested by sealife.
- It can badly affect living organisms as they become entangled in or ingest it, and they can become choked or poisoned.
- Researchers estimate the amount of plastic in the oceas is set to increase tenfold by 2020.
- There could be more plastic than life in our oceans by 2050.
If you visit our STOP page, you can find out how you can help with our campaign to Save the Oceans from Plastic.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water………….