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D'Bone Collector Museum head Darrell Blatchley shows plastic found inside the stomach of a Cuvier's beaked whale in the Philippines this weekend. - / AFP / Getty Images

Yet another whale has died after ingesting plastic bags. A young male Cuvier's beaked whale was found washed up in Mabini, Compostela Valley in the Philippines Friday, CNN reported. When scientists from the D' Bone Collector Museum in Davao investigated the dead whale, they found it had died of "dehydration and starvation" after swallowing plastic bags―40 kilograms (approximately 88 pounds) worth of them!

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UN Staff observe a minute of silence for the victims of the accident of the Ethiopian Airlines, including 19 UN workers, before the opening plenary of the 4th UN Environment Assembly at the UN headquaters in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 11. UNEP / C. VILLEMAIN / AFP / Getty Images

The Fourth UN Environment Assembly began in Nairobi Monday with a moment of silence for the victims of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines ET302 that killed 157 people on Sunday, including 22 UN staff members, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) reported.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Heavy construction equipment picks up trash from the night before to prepare for Mardi Gras day in the French Quarter on Feb. 24, 2009 in New Orleans. Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Today is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which means it marks the culmination of Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans. But once the party is over, someone will have to clean up the mess.

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A humpback whale breaching in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. jdegenhardt / Flickr

Brazilian scientists are trying to understand why a young humpback whale washed up on an island near the mouth of the Amazon river last week. The Humpback whales who feed off the coast of Brazil usually spend this time of year in Antarctica, some 4,000 miles from where the whale was found.

"We imagine it was floating and the tide took it into the mangrove," Renata Emin, president of the conservation group Bicho D'Água that found the whale, told the Brazilian news site G1, according to The New York Times. "The question is, What was a humpback whale doing in the month of February on the northern coast of Brazil? It's unusual."

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Youth activists ages 11-18 learn to fight plastic pollution at the inaugural Ocean Heroes Bootcamp. Ocean Heroes Bootcamp

By 2018 Ocean Heroes: Claire MacQueen (13 years old), Sabine Thomas (13) and Ava Inskeep (14)

We despise single-use plastics. We want to keep our oceans and our beaches clean. Early last year I (Claire) lived in India for several months and became curious about plastic waste, as it was much more visible in India than back home in the U.S. Seeing all the plastic waste while I was visiting helped me to understand that much of the trash produced by the U.S. actually ends up in developing countries, like India, which does not have a proper waste management system like we do at home, which causes a ton of trash to end up in waterways and the ocean.

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A recycling team on the river Thames' Southbank cleaning the beach from plastic and garbage on Aug. 23, 2018. Alberto Pezzali / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The UK government announced plans Monday to "overhaul" its waste system, with the aim of reducing plastic pollution and moving towards a circular economy that would not rely on single-use items.

To that end, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is launching four major consultations on proposed changes, including a plan to make packaging producers pay fully for processing their waste and a tax on plastic packaging that is not made from at least 30 percent recycled material.

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Can you go 21 days without using plastic water bottles? Well, you've been challenged. Too easy of a challenge for you? Share the idea with your friends and family. Imagine if the entire world went 21 days without consuming plastic bottles.

Let's make 2019 the year of plastic pollution solutions. We have unimaginable power as consumers to create a better world for our children.

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Two turtles being rescued from a line that had tied them together. ANATOLI MYSHLYAEV / Getty Images

2018 was a major year for raising awareness about the buildup of plastics in the world's oceans. But it also ended with one of the most high-profile attempts to solve the problem—Boyan Slat's Ocean Cleanup system—returning to port for repairs before managing to clean up any plastic.

Now, National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures are teaming up to make 2019 an important year for resolving the crisis. On Monday, the two organizations launched the Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge, a competition that will award up to $500,000 in prize money and potentially at least $1 million in investments to teams that can develop solutions to the plastic crisis.

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Kiwithing / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Supermarkets around the world should be commended for banning plastic bags, but there's another single-use foe on the environmental radar: produce packaging.

For eco-conscious shoppers, one of the most frustrating things about the grocery store is seeing things like a lone potato spud shrink-wrapped in plastic.

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Bound bales of crushed plastic bottles and containers sit stacked ready to be recycled at a recycling center in the Netherlands. Jasper Juinen / Bloomberg / Getty Images

By Margaret Sobkowicz

Why has the world continued to increase consumption of plastic materials when at the same time, environmental and human health concerns over their use have grown?

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