'Dead whale' in Cavite aims to spread awareness on plastic pollution

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) — An image of a 73-feet x 10-feet "dead whale" spewing tons of plastic waste from its insides and its mouth on a beach in Cavite made rounds on social media, Thursday.

This was an art installation by environmental organization Greenpeace Philippines to show the impact of plastic pollution on the environment and in our seas.

"With this art installation/sculpture of a beached whale here in Naic, Cavite made out of recovered plastic waste, we hope to spread awareness on the effect of plastics on our oceans, on wildlife, and on people," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Yeb Sano in a Facebook post.

 

Sano, who was also one of the Philippines' Climate Change Commissioners before he resigned in 2015, called on Southeast Asian governments and individuals to address the plastic crisis.

"Death of a whale art installation by Greenpeace Philippines to dramatize the plight of our environment, in particular the impact of plastic pollution on our marine ecosystems and on people. We call on the ASEAN governments to address this serious crisis and for each and every one of us to be part of the solution," Sano said, ending with the hashtag, #RefusePlastic.

 

In 2015, Science Journal ranked the Philippines as the third highest producer of plastic waste found in oceans with 1.88 million metric tons (MMT) per year.

China ranked first, accounting for 8.82 MMT per year, and Indonedia ranked second, with 3.22 MMT per year.

Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 aims to formulate a national framework for solid waste management, including recycling plastics, among others.

A total ban on plastics in the Philippines is yet to be implemented, as bills in both houses of Congress are all pending on the committee level.

Some cities in the Philippines like Quezon City, Mandaluyong and Makati, have adopted ordinances banning the use of plastics.

This was after reports that plastic waste clogged the city's sewers, which worsened floods brought about by Typhoon Ketsana in 2009, locally known as Tropical Storm Ondoy.

Some establishments have shifted to paper bags, or recyclable or reusable bags, while other cities, such as Quezon City, charge a ₱2.00 fee per plastic bag from consumers.

Other than single-use plastic bags, environmentalists also discourage the use of plastic water bottles and plastic straws.