"(It) makes people wonder if they will still see living whales or other sea creatures in the future due to the garbage problem," artist Biboy Royong said.
A Filipino artist has built a 23.8 meter sculpture of a dead whale made out of trash, in a campaign to raise awareness on using single-use plastics.
Biboy Royong gathered bottles, garbage bags, straws and other plastic wastes from various establishments in the Philippine capital for his sculpture, which depicts a dead sperm whale carrying an unborn baby in its womb.
He has previously mounted a smaller exhibit in 2017 on the shores south of Manila.
Titled "Cry of the Dead Whale," Royong said he hopes his sculpture will spur dialogue on the ongoing problem of plastic pollution and encourage the public to think about the environment and its inhabitants.
"Our message there is, particularly that whale (baby) inside, it symbolizes the new generations, make people wonder if they will still see living whales or other sea creatures in the future due to the garbage problem," Royong told Reuters.
A 2015 report by the environmental campaigner Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment said the Philippines was among the five Asian countries which contributes to about 60 percent of plastic wastes leaking into the ocean.
"It becomes an opportunity for explaining, that this is a beached whale, but actually it isn't. It's an art installation made out of garbage collected on our beaches and shorelines," the artist added.
In March this year, a dead whale was found on a shoreline in the southern Philippines, with over 40 kg worth of plastics found in its belly. Several others have been beached, dead whales with tons of plastic garbage found in their stomachs have been found on other beaches over the past few years.
"My first reaction was it looks ugly, but when I took a closer look, I realized there was a lesson there. It made me think about not throwing garbage anywhere and how we should put the trash in its proper place." an office worker, Dejie Agbuya told Reuters.
Commissioned by the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, the installation will run until May 26 before being recycled into other works of arts in the future.