A sperm whale was found dead in Indonesia having 115 plastic cups and 25 plastic bags in its stomach. This unfortunate incident raised concerns amongst environmentalists, focusing on the country’s major garbage problem.
Namely, the whale found dead in Indonesia highlighted the huge problem the country is facing on the matter of rubbish. Indonesia is the world’s second biggest contributor to marine debris, following China. It’s estimated that the country produces 1.29 million metric tones of litter per year. However, Indonesia has its hopes high and plans to support recycling services, protection of the ocean, limit the use of plastic bags, launch cleanup campaigns and raise public awareness.
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The whale was washed ashore in Wakatobi, National Park in South Sulawesi. The litter found inside the whale was part of nearly 6 kilograms of plastic and was discovered in the 9.5-metre carcass when it washed ashore.
Moreover, WWF Indonesia group stated that they found four plastic bottles and 3.26 kilograms of raffia rope, as well as the plastic bags and cups. They continued stating that although the exact cause of the whale’s death is unknown, there is a great possibility that the marine debris triggered it.
Other litter found in the area of the incident include flip flops and ripped tarpaulins, as La Ode Saleh Hanan, the head of Wakatobi tourism, addressed.
Also, Wakatobi district, a scenic collection of four main islands, has demanded from Indonesia’s central government to solve the problem of marine debris. The situation is so bad that Indonesian officials declared a garbage emergency the previous year after a 6km stretch of coast along the island of Bali was full on rubbish. The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands has pledged to reduce marine plastic waste by 70% by 2025.
Yet, poor waste-processing infrastructure and low awareness among its 260 million Indonesians are proven to be major obstacles.