A 4.5 ton sperm whale washed ashore in southern Spain died from ingesting large amounts of plastic sheets on Thursday. The whale had over 36 square yards of plastic canvas blocking its stomach. Inside of the whale scientists found plastic ropes, plastic sheeting used to cover greenhouses in the region, and even two flower pots.
This isn’t the first time a whale has died due to a stomach blockage composed of plastics. One famous example was in 2010 when Discovery News reported that a gray whale near Seattle washed ashore after dying. Scientists discovered 20 plastic bags, small towels, surgical gloves, sweat pants, plastic pieces, duct tape, and a golf ball in its stomach. Many other marine animals such as turtles, dolphins and otters face the threat from plastic garbage in the ocean as well because these plastic contents can often cause them to choke.
The news is alarming because it demonstrates once again that our ocean is filled with human discarded garbage. A recent research stated the world creates 260 million tons of plastic each year, with most of the disposed plastic surfacing in our oceans.
Plastic materials do not biodegrade. They are also toxic and have invaded distant shores from the Bering Sea to the South Pole. Big plastics crumble which create smaller pieces that can be ingested by marine animals, many of which we end up eating ourselves.
We can do our part by not using plastic shopping bags and plastic water bottles. By limiting our waste we can begin to decrease the amount of plastics that end up in our oceans and waterways.
Consumers can help preserve our water ways by also working with companies that have an interest in their preservation. At GR8-White, we pride ourselves on giving back to our Earth. Each year we donate a percentage of our gross sales to charities that help preserve our oceans and waterways. Through our Going Blu campaign, customers can feel proud and confident that they are making a difference in the environment each time they purchase a GR8-White product.