Turin, a campaign with air-purifying panels to denounce mask pollution

Street artist Andrea Villa with Acqua Foundation presents zero-impact posters to denounce pollution caused by surgical masks.

One of the best-known street artists on the Turin scene Andrea Villa presents, in collaboration with Acqua Foundation, the Last Breath campaign to denounce, through zero-impact posters that improve air quality, thepollution of surgical masks used during this pandemic year to limit the Covid-19 infection. The initiative is supported by Fridays 4 Future, WWF Italy, Greenpeace Italy, and Extinction Rebellion.

The posters are made with special theBreath panels thanks to whose technology they are able to “promote a healthier environment, improving the quality of life”: this is the first patented zero-impact technology designed to improve air quality; theBreath® panel is the most powerful non-electrified tool capable of significantly reducing air pollution, thanks to its absorbent property. The three panels were placed on the facade of a historic building in Turin’s Crocetta district.

Last Breath recounts the damage of plastic caused by the use of surgical masks: through this project, the artist intends to bring public awareness to the issue of wasting masks, to open a positive dialogue about their proper disposal or the possibility of creating recyclable versions: it is an environmental disaster that is still little talked about, not yet investigated by most environmentalist advertising campaigns.

Ispra has estimated between 160 thousand and 440 thousand tons of Covid-19 devices to be treated as undifferentiated garbage through 2020. If only 1 percent of the masks used in a month were disposed of improperly, this would result in 10 million masks per month dispersed into the environment. (Source: Il Sole 24 Ore).

There are no firm numbers on how many masks have been produced, sold or used worldwide since the start of the pandemic, but according to a study published in Environmental Science and Technology and cited by Reuters, at least 129 billion disposable masks have been used worldwide each month since the start of the pandemic, to which are then to be added masks of other types and other personal protective equipment, such as gloves.

The Last Breath project will also be exhibited at the Emotional Hall museum in Gorizia, Italy’s first multimedia art museum, under the curatorship of Nicola Bustreo and will be cited in CLIMACT- Communication as Organization: Social Media and Grassroots Participation in Climate Action Mobilizations at the Normal University of Pisa.

“With my new paper #maskpollution I wanted to highlight a problem that has been mistreated and little considered: the ’pollution due to anti-Covid prevention devices,” wrote Andrea Villa. “There are biodegradable masks made of bioplastic, but they are not produced due to cost issues. I created posters with ’the breath’ fabric, a fabric produced in Italy that absorbs pollution, an issue that is very much felt in the world and in Turin, the most polluted city in Italy. As an artist I want to talk about fundamental issues in this world that is radically changing.” He concludes, “In this historical period, art cannot remain passive but must act, and no longer be just a frill divorced from the real context.”

Ph.Credit Acqua Foundation

Turin, a campaign with air-purifying panels to denounce mask pollution
Turin, a campaign with air-purifying panels to denounce mask pollution

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