Residents of Naic, Cavite woke up Thursday to a ghastly sight on the seashore, where a “blue whale” was decomposing right in their backyard.
Lying on its side, the whale’s mouth gaped open to reveal a mountain of plastic waste.
Bottles, ice cream containers, hangers, trash bins, plastic bags, and sachets were just some of the debris spilling from the mammal’s body.
The 15-meter-by-three-meter whale was actually an art installation by the environmental advocacy organization Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines, fashioned out of plastic waste found in the ocean.
In a press release, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines noted that over 30 dead sperm whales had washed up on European shores in the first quarter of 2016, with their stomachs found to contain large amounts of plastic waste.
In the Philippines, a dead whale was found on Samal Island in December last year. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources was quoted by The Philippine Star as saying that plastics, fish net, hooks, and wood with nail, rope, and steel wire found in its stomach had caused its premature demise.
Greenpeace called on ASEAN environmental leaders to take concrete measures against plastics pollution, and to stop environmental degradation and killing marine life.
The Philippines was this year’s chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“The ASEAN region’s contribution to plastic pollution in the oceans cannot be ignored and is already way beyond alarming. We are asking the ASEAN membership to take this issue with a sense of urgency and demand that our leaders initiate bold steps to address plastics pollution through regional cooperation, exacting corporate responsibility, and massive public education,” said Vince Cinches, the Oceans Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines.
The organization noted that the Philippines had made commitments to address the plastics issue through the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, but the country remained the third highest contributor of plastic wastes to the ocean.
Meanwhile, the whale replica will remain in Naic until Sunday, after which it will be dismantled by barangay officials.
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