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A dead whale just washed ashore with 88 pounds of plastic waste in its stomach. This needs to stop.

A whale has washed ashore in the Philippines, its stomach so full of plastic it died of starvation and dehydration.

The juvenile male curvier beaked whale was examined by scientists at the D'Bone Collector Museum, a non-governmental organization that specializes in animal preservation and education.

The museum shared the story and photos of what they found in the whale's stomach on Facebook, and it's devastating. 40 kilos (about 88 pounds) of plastic bags including rice sacks, banana bags, and "multiple shopping bags" were pulled from the whale's stomach. Scientists say that the copious amounts of plastic made it impossible for the whale's digestive system to function properly.  


"This whale had the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale," the museum posted. "It's disgusting. Action must be taken by the government against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsters."

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Most plastic pollution in the ocean comes from five Southeast Asian countries. But guess where the U.S. sends its plastic waste.

According to a 2017 report from the Ocean Conservancy, the five countries that contribute the most plastic ocean pollution are China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

"These countries have recently benefited from significant increases in GDP, reduced poverty, and improved quality of life," the report states. "However, increasing economic power has also generated exploding demand for consumer products that has not yet been met with a commensurate waste-management infrastructure."

The U.S. and other Western nations may take that to mean this whale's death and others are not really our problem, but that's far from the case. For more than two decades, we have been sending a significant portion of our plastic waste to China.

But since China placed a ban on plastic waste imports in 2018, we've been shipping more of our plastic to other developing nations in Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Vietnam. And according to Unearthed, the investigative arm of Greenpeace, we've been doing so without due regard for whether those countries have the environmental infrastructure to handle that waste responsibly.  

In other words, some of the plastic they pulled out of that whale could very well be ours.

To stem this global crisis, we need to move away from plastics and stop thinking we can recycle everything.

Stories like this put the impact of our plastic dependence right in our faces, and leave many of us asking what we can do. Naturally, we need to push our governments to regulate industries that produce waste to make sure they are operating sustainably. But how can we make a difference individually?

The answer—at least at this point—isn't recycling. Those of us who grew up having the three R's (Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!) drilled into our heads may have fooled ourselves into believing that plastic was okay as long as we find a recycling bin to toss it into. But as we are learning, what we think is being recycled often isn't. Much of it is being shipped across the world to maybe be recycled or maybe end up being dumped into the ocean.

And of course, we still have far too much plastic that can't be recycled. Our reliance on convenience and our penchant for sterile packaging has created a demand that manufacturers continue to meet, Earth be damned. Until we change our consumption habits and demand differently with our dollars, we're going to continue to struggle with excess plastic waste, and keep watching majestic creatures die from bellies full of our bad choices.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

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Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

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Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.

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This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


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Family

Mom's praise of audiobooks 'post-baby' has parents sharing how it changed their lives

'Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.'

Canva/Twitter

Let people read however they can.

Not too long ago, it seemed like you could only be loyal to one team—team “physical books” or team “e-readers.” There was no neutral territory.

That debate might have dwindled, but it echoes on as people take a stand on physical books versus audiobooks, which have become increasingly popular—nearly half of all Americans currently pay for an audio content subscription, and the average adult in the U.S. listens to digital audio for a little over an hour and a half each day, 28% of that being spoken word. Audiobooks had a particularly big surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, as listeners found the activity more comforting and satisfying than a regular book while under quarantine.

You’d think that the general mindset would be “reading in any form has great benefits, so do whatever you want!” But alas, humans do find odd hills to die on.

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