As a result, a whale plagued by ingested plastic can lose weight.
The Cuvier's beaked whale, found in the Philippines, had swallowed hundreds of items, including shopping bags and rice sacks.
"If we keep going this way, it will be more uncommon to see an animal die of natural causes than it is to see an animal die of plastic", he said.
After a dead whale washed ashore in the Philippines, scientists pulled 88 pounds of plastic debris from the mammal's intestines.
The dead whale was first spotted by workers of D'Bone Collector Museum in Davao.
Around 8.8 million tons (8 million metric tons) of plastic get dumped into the ocean every year, according to a 2015 report by the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy. He warned that the crisis often remains "out of sight and mind" except when animals such as this are recovered and examined.
Darrell Blatchley, environmentalist and director of D' Bone Collector Museum Inc., shows plastic waste found in the stomach of a Cuvier's beaked whale near the Philippine city of Davao.
Children play on a beach covered in plastic waste in the Philippines
The museum called on governments to take action against those who "continue to treat waterways and oceans as dumpsters".
"Upon reaching the stomach I knew this whale had died due to plastic ingestion", Blatchley said. In the past 10 years, Blatchley said his team had recovered 61 whales and dolphins, 57 of which had died from fishing nets, dynamite fishing and plastic garbage.
Regional bureau director Fatma Idris told the outlet the whale, unable to swim on its own due to emaciation and depleted energy, struggled and vomited blood during its final hours.
Children play on a beach covered in plastic waste in the Philippines.
In August 2018, Blatchley also performed a necropsy on a dead whale shark, which beached in Tagum City. Last summer, officials in Thailand revealed that a deceased whale had 80 plastic bags in its stomach at the time of its death.
"This can not continue", he said.
"This can not continue. The Philippines needs to change from the children up or nothing will be left", Blatchley said.
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