Today sees the launch of a pioneering new initiative, ‘Pollution CapturePencils’ by Otrivin Breathe Clean, turning pollution waste by-products into school supplies for local children.
Air pollution is considered the world’s largest environmental health threat1 with 98% of children in India breathing toxic air2. Otrivin’sActions to Breathe Cleaner program promotes the adoption of everyday actions that help reduce the impact of air pollution on children’s breathing health. Improving air quality in schools being part of this program, Otrivin Breathe Clean launched the ‘Pollution Capture Pencils’ initiative.For the first phase of this initiative, threeschools with the poorest air quality across Bengaluru were identified to partner with. Otrivin Breathe Clean installed twenty-two sustainable and self-cleaning air purifiers across these three schools,in a bid to improve the air quality of approximately one thousand school children every day, in this innovative pilot project.After 2 months these specially designed purifiers, installed both inside and outside the school buildings, had together cleaned over2 billion cubic feet of polluted air. The toxic air particles or ‘pollution residue’ was then gathered to mix with graphite*. This mixture was used as the core of 10,000 pencils, specially produced, and designed, to be distributed by teachers to the school children for their use and utilized as tools for multiple interventions to generate more funds for installation of more air purifiers.Otrivin Breathe Clean focused on the solution and transformedthe pollution residue into pencilswhich will act as instruments of change for the kids.
Headteacher of one of the participating schools said:“We are thrilled to have partnered with Otrivin Breathe Clean for the ‘Pollution Capture Pencils’ initiative. The air my pupils breathe is a constant concern for me and my staff. We see the repercussions on respiratory health every day so anything that we can do to help mitigate the health impact of air pollution is a positive step to a healthier way of life for us all. The children have been so excited to see just how exactly the ‘Pollution Capture Pencils’ will come to life – and love drawing and writing with the finished product. It has been important for us also to amplify our education of air pollution, so we hope to inspire young change makers of the future to continue to make a difference.”
The pencils, which come in specially designed packs, created by local Bengaluru artist Gautam Datta, reflect the identity and personality of each school and the pupils who attend them.
Artist Gautam Dattacommented: “It was a pleasure to design the ‘Pollution Capture Pencils’ packs for this important initiative from Otrivin Breathe Clean. I took my inspiration from time I spent at each school, getting to know the children and their teachers. I believe the finished packs reflect life in Bengaluru and the hope all the children feel for the future, having learnt so much more about air pollution and what we can all do to help mitigate its impact on our health.”