In recent weeks, whales have been found washed up on the shores, dead or dying. The culprit that is killing the sea’s majestic giants? Our plastic bags which are polluting the waters and scientist are using these whales to investigate their real effects and consequences on marine life.

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Scientists and marine biologists have been warning for years about the devastating consequences of dumping plastic into the sea – and in recent days there has been shocking evidence: Dead whales with dozens of plastic bags found in their stomachs post-mortem despite their far distance from land and people.

One such whale was found this past week on Skye, an island off the coast of Scotland. A Cuvier’s beaked whale washed ashore there, and within its internal organs approximately 9 pounds of plastic bags were found. A whale of the same variety was recently found in Norway, near the Bergen coast, with shopping bags from Denmark, the UK and Norway.

Close to 9 pounds of plastic were found in the Skye island whale

Close to 9 pounds of plastic were found in the Skye island whale Photo Credit: Sky News/Channel 2 News

“For every one of these pieces it is possible that there would have been some form of human action that could have stopped it,” blames Dr. Andrew Brownlow, who performed the autopsy on the whale in Skye. Experts predict that if there is no change in human behavior, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.