A whale found off the Norwegian coast had to be euthanised after scientists found 30 plastic bags in the creature’s stomach.
The goose-beaked whale was spotted last weekend and according to eye-witnesses was clearly in poor health.
Experts examined the whale and decided it would be kinder to end its life.
The whale’s carcass was then taken to the University of Bergen where it was examined by academics.
After they opened the animal’s stomach, it immediately became clear what was wrong.
The whale had swallowed a huge amount of human waste, including the 30 plastic bags,.
I’m afraid to estimate how long it could have taken before the stomach was totally full,” zoologist Terje Lislevand told NRK, the Norwegian state broadcaster.
“In this case, the plastic particles accumulated and created a barrier in the system.”
Academics want to preserve the body and then display it at the university.
Plastic has become a huge problem for sea life.
A study by the World Economic Forum estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea, by weight, than fish.
It is thought there are up to 150 million tonnes of rubbish currently floating in the oceans.