A dead whale was found on the shore in Indonesia by rescuers for Wakatobi national park. The most likely reason of death was clearly visible, the whale had ‘eaten’ a lot of plastic that was drifting in the sea. Inside its body, they found more than 1000 pieces of plastic, including 115 cups, 25 bags, 4 bottles and 2 flip-flops. This weighed about six kilograms. “The facts that we see are truly awful”, said Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF Indonesia.
WWF Indonesia shared a picture of the dead whale on their Twitter. The image resonated in Indonesia, because Indonesia was the second-biggest producer of plastic in the world in 2015, only behind China. It produces 3.2 million tons of plastic waste a year. 1.29 million tons of this ends up in the ocean. So plastic waste is a big issue there.
Mister Nicholas Mallos, the director of the Trash Free Seas program at Ocean Conservancy, says that we all need to take some drastic measures to stop these things from happening. “What is concerning is that the likelihood of these types of interactions, and these types of horrific encounters between marine organisms and plastic debris, is only likely to continue unless some drastic measures are taken.”
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the coordinating minister of maritime affairs in Indonesia strives for more public awareness about the problems. “I’m so sad to hear this. It is possible that many other marine animals are also contaminated with plastic waste and this is very dangerous for our lives.”
Indonesia wants to reduce their plastic waste by 70 percent by 2025. To be able to do that, they have set aside $1 billion per year. A very creative solution to make people recycle has been devised in Surabaya, the second-largest city in Indonesia. In this city, people can pay for the bus ride by recycling 10 plastic cups or 5 plastic bottles.