efe-epaBangkok Desk

A giant art installation depicting a beached whale on the Philippines' western coast is raising awareness about the dangers of plastic trash polluting Asia's oceans.

The 50-foot whale, constructed from waste such as bags, containers and bottles, was created by environmental NGO Greenpeace Philippines as part of efforts to encourage the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to address the problem of plastic pollution.

As well as attracting the attention of passersby, images of the sculpture on the coast of Naic township, Cavite province, have been shared widely on social media, sparking conversation on the issue.

An online petition accompanying the installation calls on ASEAN nations to "act to protect the oceans from plastic and marine debris."

The petition notes that the ocean is filled with 275 million tons of plastic, and cites a 2015 study that named five ASEAN member states - Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia - as some of the world's worst offenders "due to their lengthy coastlines and high plastic usage."

"With the Philippines as chair of this year's ASEAN Summit, this is an opportune time to call on the ASEAN member states to take concrete measures against plastics pollution in the high seas to stop environmental degradation and dwindling of marine life in the region," it says.

As of Friday lunchtime, the petition had almost hit its goal of 4,000 signatures from people supporting calls for ASEAN to "work together to set appropriate regulations and encourage businesses to take responsibility for their environmental impact and consumers to take action."

The sculpture will remain on display until Sunday.