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Otrivin captures polluted classroom air and turns it into pencils

Breathing toxic air is a daily reality for 98% of India's school children, not just when they're out in busy streets but indoors, too. Poorly ventilated classrooms in low-income neighborhoods can have air pollution levels three or four times higher than limits set by the World Health Organization. Otrivin, the nasal spray brand, has developed a potential solution.

Working with Wunderman Thompson, Otrivin selected three schools suffering from the lowest air quality in Bengaluru, known as India's asthma capital. In those schools, they installed 22 energy-efficient air purifiers that cleaned 2 billion cubic feet of air in two months. Residue collected in the process was mixed with graphite and transformed into kid-safe 'Pollution Capture Pencils,' which were distributed in the schools.

Following its Bengaluru pilot project in 2022, Otrivin aims to supply an additional 100 air purifiers to other schools in need in Q1 2023. In the long term, Otrivin plans to create a self-sustaining ecosystem, using the sale of Pollution Capture Pencils as a fundraising tool.


Trend Bite

Pollution pencils aren't Otrivin's first foray into fresh air. The GSK-owned brand previously commissioned AirBubble in Warsaw, 'the world's first biotech playground using air-purifying algae.' A newer version of the AirBubble was then installed at COP26 in Glasgow. All in response to the fact that 93% of children worldwide play in harmful levels of air pollution.

By developing tactile projects and objects, Otrivin isn't just highlighting an urgent problem. It's demonstrating possible solutions. Other brands on a mission: to ensure your call to action reaches people and sticks with them, make it real and make it visible.

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom