Why do ocean animals eat plastic?
Whales with stomachs full of plastic have turned up around the world. Here's what we know.
Why would an apex ocean predator eat gloves? Or rope? Or plastic cups? How does a whale end up with more than 200 pounds of waste in its stomach?
Last week, a ten-year-old whale was found dead on a beach in Scotland. A necropsy revealed 220 pounds of plastic and other trash congealed in clumps in his digestive system. The tragedy grabbed headlines—the sheer quantity of debris eclipsed that found in a growing number of similar cases: large whales discovered dead on beaches around the world with stomachs full of garbage.
It’s unclear if these sightings are becoming more common, or if we’re simply more attuned to them now that the public is aware of the plastic crisis, but