The Global Crisis of Plastic Pollution

A young sperm whale, the largest toothed predator on Earth and an endangered species, washed up on the beach in southeastern Spain in February. Wanting to know what killed it, scientists brought the cetacean’s 13,000-pound body to a lab for a necropsy. They sliced into its blubber, and were shocked at what they discovered: 64 pounds of plastic throughout the stomach and intestines. This trash had caused the severe infection that took the whale’s life.

Scientists across the globe are...

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