IT’S RUBBISH: SPERM WHALE FULL OF PLASTIC IN SULAWESI
A 9.5 meter Sperm Whale was found rotting on the shore of Wakatobi National Park, Southeast Sulawesi. The sperm whale contained 5.9kg of plastic waste in the animal’s stomach consisting of 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, two flip-flops, a nylon sack and more than 1,000 other assorted pieces of plastic.
A national park official said the large lump of plastic, visible from the stomach of the whale, was a cause for concern among environmentalists and government officials. It is no secret that Indonesia is one of the world’s largest plastic polluting countries.
The whale was found my locals on Monday. Environmentalists alerted rescuers who found the locals had already started butchering the carcass, park chief Heri Santoso said.
The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and Wakatobi park’s conservation team discovered the sad situation of the sperm whale. “Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly awful,” said Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF Indonesia.
As Indonesia’s leading food franchise businesses, Pizza Hut this year decided to take concrete steps towards reducing plastic usage. In 2019, the company will no longer provide plastic drinking straws with every drink. “Finding alternatives is priority, and I am personally involved in the process of reducing our plastic usage at Pizza Hut”, said Pak Alwin Arifin, owner of Sarimelati Kencana, the franchise owner of Pizza Hut in Indonesia.
Globally, food companies are taking responsibility for their impact on plastic pollution. The No Straws Campaign continues to raise awareness and support for the cause is growing. Plastic straws are the 7th largest contributor to ocean trash. According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, six million tons of non-durable plastics gets discarded every year and it’s estimated that by the year 2050, plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish.
The sperm whale finding in Wakatobi on Monday is concrete proof that ocean plastics is a major problem, requiring major changes from how we use plastics and to how we discard of them.
To read more about the No Straws campaign click here.