Upon collecting the creature from the beach, Davao's D'Bone Collector Museum carried out a necropsy that revealed the 4.7-meter-long juvenile whale had ingested about 40 kilograms of plastic within its short life. Recovered from inside the beaked whale were 16 rice sacks, four plastic bags used in banana plantations, multiple shopping bags, and hundreds of other small pieces of plastic packaging.
Images from the autopsy showed endless piles of rubbish being extracted from the sea mammal's stomach, as the biologists called it "disgusting" and said it was "the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale".
This isn't the first time a whale full of plastic has washed ashore.
"Upon researching the stomach I knew this whale had died due to plastic ingestion".
"Everytime you see this it's shocking", said Lindsay Mosher, the program manager for the nonprofit Oceanic Society's Blue Habits project.
The WWF predicts that because the increase of plastic usage has overwhelmed the capacity of waste management, "ocean plastic leakage will remain above nine million metric tons per year until 2030". In particular, about 60 percent of it comes from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
American biologist Darrell Blatchley, director of the D' Bone Collector Museum which helped conduct a necropsy, said the whale died from starvation and was unable to eat because of the trash filling its stomach.
"Marine pollution arising from plastic debris and other forms of garbage choking our waterways worsen our environmental problems", said representative of Surigao del Norte Rep, Robert Ace Barbers, according to The Philippine Star.
"This can not continue", Blatchley said, noting the Philippines ranks as the second most plastic-polluted country in the world. "The Philippines needs to change from the children up or nothing will be left", he shared. In June previous year, a pilot whale was found dead in Thailand after swallowing 80 plastic bags.