Jakarta — A sperm whale has been found dead in Indonesia with 115 plastic cups and 25 plastic bags in its stomach, raising concern among environmentalists and throwing the spotlight on the country's rubbish problem. The items were part of nearly 6kg of plastic waste discovered in the 9.5m carcass when it washed ashore in Wakatobi National Park, in southeast Sulawesi province, on Monday. Other debris included flip flops and ripped tarpaulins, the head of Wakatobi tourism, La Ode Saleh Hanan, said on Wednesday. Conservation group WWF Indonesia said on social media its staff found four plastic bottles and 3.26kg of raffia rope, as well as the plastic bags and cups. The exact cause of the whale’s death is not yet known but there are signs that “plastic waste might have triggered it”, WWF Indonesia marine species conservation co-ordinator Dwi Suprapti said. Wakatobi district, a picturesque collection of four main islands surrounded by a marine reserve, has urged Indonesia’s central gover...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now