Recently, the city of Almeria in arid southern Spain has transformed itself into prime farmland by building more than 150 square miles of plastic-sheeting-encased greenhouses. That means there's more out-of-season, non-native foods for local Spaniards -- and more out-of-season, non-native plastic foods for local Spaniard sea creatures.
Only about 1,000 sperm whales live in the Mediterranean sea. When one recently beached itself and died on the coast, scientists determined the cause quickly. (Any guesses?)
“[I]t had a real greenhouse inside its stomach. We did not expect it, but it did not surprise us," marine biologist Renaud de Stephanis told Agence France-Presse. “It was as if it had a rock inside its intestine, nothing could get through. There was so much plastic that it finally exploded."
When it died, the whale had eaten about 37 pounds of plastic, including a lot of the plastic sheeting from those greenhouses, two flower pots, an ice cream tub, and some mattress chunks.