Otrivin's 'Actions to Breathe Cleaner' initiative turns air pollution into pencils for school children

As part of the initiative, the air purifiers installed by Otrivin Breathe Clean in three Bengaluru schools collect toxic air particles that become 'Pollution Capture Pencils'

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Otrivin's 'Actions to Breathe Cleaner' initiative turns air pollution into pencils for school children

Otrivin Breathe Clean has launched a new initiative, ‘Pollution Capture Pencils’, under which pollution waste by-products will be converted into school supplies for local children.

Air pollution is considered the world's largest environmental health threat with 98% of children in India breathing toxic air2.

Otrivin’s Actions 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.

The ‘Pollution Capture Pencils’ concept and launch campaign is created by Wunderman Thompson Singapore as part of WPP Team GSK/Haleon.

For the first phase of this initiative, three schools 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 two months these specially designed purifiers, installed both inside and outside the school buildings, had together collected over two 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 utilised as tools for multiple interventions to generate more funds for installation of more air purifiers.

Otrivin Breathe Clean focused on the solution and transformed the pollution residue into pencils which 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, are created by local Bengaluru artist Gautam Datta. They reflect the identity and personality of each school and the pupils who attend them.

Datta commented, “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.”

Of the children that participated in the initiative, one of the students said, “It’s amazing to see the air purifiers in my school, working to help give us cleaner air to breathe. My friends and I love using the pencils. I never knew it was possible to make anything out of air pollution, they are so clever.” 

Another student added: “I have learnt more about the air I breathe when I am playing and learning at school. I don’t like to think the air I am breathing is bad for my heath, I am pleased that we have new purifiers to help clean it. I think all school children in India should have purifiers at school.” 

Anurita Chopra, Head of Marketing, India Subcontinent, Haleon, added, “We are led by our purpose – to deliver better everyday health with humanity, and in order for people to be healthy, they need to be living in a healthy world, which includes having clean air to breathe. However, air pollution is having a catastrophic impact on our ability to be able to breathe clean, especially amongst children who perhaps contribute the least to this problem but are affected the most. We hope that the ‘Pollution Capture Pencils’ initiative as a part of Otrivin’s Actions to Breathe Cleaner program, inspires people to take simple actions to make the world a better place to live in and breathe. Do watch out for the next chapters of the campaign wherein we use these pencils to bring forward the expressions of the children to help build awareness as well as help many more to breathe clean.”

Ashik SV, CEO of Panjurli Labs, said, “People all over the world are looking at India as a growing economy, but at the same time I feel India has a huge role to play in terms of helping the global economy. But first we need to make the children healthy. Through this project we are trying to ensure the same. The thing I’m happiest about is that every day more and more kids are able to breathe clean air for 6-7 hours per day, and that we’re able to protect them during that time.”

This is the start of the campaign with more phases and activities planned to take the Actions to Breathe Cleaner program to greater heights. Otrivin Breathe Clean will soon announce the upcoming events and developments planned.

The initiative aims to raise Rs 40 Lakhs which would result in setting up approximately 100 air purifiers in schools.


Otrivin Otrivin Breathe Clean pollution capture pencils school children pollution clean air pencils