The effects of plastic ingestion in marine animals

D’Bone Collector Museum Inc. in Davao not only offers an interesting collection of bones from various animals all over the world, it gives an insight into the effect that plastic waste has on our wildlife. I was fortunate enough to visit such a place, and to be in contact with the founder, Darrell Blatchley, who is passionate about creating awareness in regards to the high amount of plastic waste in the Philippines.

Early last month, a 14-foot-long juvenile whale shark was found dead near Tagum City. Upon completion of a necropsy, it was shown that the whale had ingested a plastic cup, jelly wrappers and various other small plastics. Nearing the last decade, Darrell has done over 60 necropsies of whales and dolphins, countless turtles, a megamouth shark and now this latest whale shark.

The majority showed to have ingested plastic and we, human beings, are the cause of this. It was a sad affair to be looking up at the bones of these amazing creatures and then seeing the small, plastic pieces of plastic that was the cause of their death, displayed beside them. When does it end? How do we educate others successfully and discipline ourselves to take actions on such tragedy?

My new goal for Leela’s Love is to look at sustainable projects here in the Philippines that will be different to the work in Ghana but will still commit to the two goals of this not-for-profit organisation – create self-sufficient opportunities for a community and create awareness on the detrimental effects of plastic in our environment. Please share the passion and be considerate of Mother Earth.