More than 30 kilograms of plastic material has been discovered in the stomach of the dead whale that was washed ashore at a remote beach on the Greek island of Santorini last week.
Scientists conducting a post-mortem examination said the sperm whale died because of the amount of plastic in her stomach.
The 9-meter (30 feet) mammal died of gastric shock caused by ingesting the plastic. It was unable to remove the material from its digestive system, causing peritonitis and eventually death.
The dead mammal, which was at an advanced stage of decay, was discovered by a diver.
The carcass will be buried in Santorini.
A recent study published in the academic journal Environmental Pollution has revealed the shocking reality of plastic debris polluting the ocean.
According to data compiled off the coast of Ireland by researchers at Galway-Mayo IT and University College Cork, almost ten percent of whales, dolphins and porpoises examined were found to have plastics in their digestive tracts.
Environmental organizations warn that plastic pollution is a growing threat to whales and dolphins as well as seabirds and other marine creatures.
Fifty-six percent of all whale and dolphin species, from small fish-eating dolphins to the largest filter-feeding whales, have been recorded eating marine plastics they have mistaken for food.