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A Dead Pregnant Whale Has Washed Ashore With 22 Kilograms Of Plastic In Its Stomach

A six metre-long sperm whale washed ashore the Italian island of Sardinia carrying 22 kilograms of plastic waste inside of it, as well as a dead fetus.

SEAME, a non-profit ocean conservation organisation based in Sardinia, told CNN that amongst the trash contained in the young whale's stomach, there were garbage bags, fishing nets, lines, tubes, and a bag from a washing machine liquid with the brand name still identifiable.

The fetus found inside the whale was two metres-long and had likely already aborted before its mother died, as it was in an advanced stage of decomposition.

Dead pregnant sperm whale washed ashore in Sardinia with 22 kilograms of plastic in stomach. Source: SEAME Sardinia

SEAME published photos of the whale on Facebook, stating that they would like to bring attention to the problem of plastic waste and preserve the whale's skeleton as an education tool.

The whale's death is "yet another painful reminder of the devastating impact that plastic pollution is having on our oceans and the terrible damage it is causing to marine life," the World Wildlife Fund said in a statement.

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Sergio Costa, Italy's Minister of the Environment, took to Facebook to remark on the problems associated with plastic pollution, and assured Italian citizens that Italy will be one of the first country's to implement the European Union's ban of single-use plastics, which was voted on late last week.

Dead pregnant sperm whale washed ashore in Sardinia. Source: SEAME Sardinia

The EU have committed to banning single-use plastics entirely by 2021 and enforcing that by 2029, 90 percent of plastic bottles must be made from recycled plastics.

The death of the sperm whale in Sardinia has prompted WWF to call on European nations to begin implementing these measures sooner.

"WWF is calling on all Member States to urgently implement the new law and adopt even more ambitious production and waste management policies to stop plastic from reaching the Mediterranean Sea and our environment."

Last month, a juvenile Cuvier's beaked whale died in the waters off the coast of the Philippines after ingesting 40 kilograms of plastic and starving to death.

If changes are not made, the World Economic Forum predicted last year that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.

READ MORE: Labor To Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags And Microbeads From 2021