A necropsy on the mammal discovered 80 plastic shopping bags and other debris in his stomach. More than 17 pounds of plastic had clogged up his stomach and caused him to starve, according to National Geographic.
Scientists discovered 64 pounds of plastic garbage inside a young sperm whale that washed up on a beach in southern Spain in late February and believe the plastic trash killed it, too.
There's no way to know how many other marine animals are suffering from plastic pollution because most may not wash up on shore, according to scientists.
Recently, scientists reported on just one area of plastic garbage pollution in the ocean known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, revising the size of the pollution there. The patch had grown four to 16 times larger over the past decade and contains 87,000 pounds of mostly plastic trash, they said.
There are other garbage patches like the one in the Pacific in other oceans on the planet.
Some areas, including places in the U.S., have banned the use of plastic bags because of widespread pollution.
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