Earlier this month, a young sei whale washed up on a North Carolina beach with an empty stomach and a plastic bag caught in its throat. Last November, a dead sperm whale in Indonesia made international headlines when more than thirteen pounds of plastic were found in its stomach.
These kinds of stories are powerful symbols of a global plastic pollution problem. But they don’t necessarily give an accurate sense of the scope or the nature of the problem, or what can be done about it.
Plastics researcher Kara Lavender Law spoke with Heather about the plastics problem. She’s a Research Professor of Oceanography at Sea Education Association.