Unmasking a Covid cause of marine pollution


Alibaba Group, WWF and F5 Shanghai recently launched a campaign that highlights the problem of disposable face mask pollution. Due to the Covid pandemic, more than 1.5 billion have sadly found their way to the ocean in 2020 alone, further burdening the earth’s already battered water bodies. 

As a key online platform selling these masks, Alibaba wanted to find a solution to what has become a festering problem. The firm worked with WWF for Earth Day 2021 to generate more awareness about the issue.

Alibaba’s plan included an event titled ‘Fading Sea Creatures’, a shocking live performance by emerging artist Qiurui Du. The performance focused on jellyfish, the world’s most resilient sea creature, to convey the message of how even the oldest animal on earth that survived calamities, mass extinctions, and outlived dinosaurs, may soon fall to the consequences of mask pollution.

The performance featured Qiurui’s jellyfish painting which was on canvas made entirely out of disposable face masks. The painting was made with hydrochromic paint, which disappeared when the mask canvas was submerged underwater. The jellyfish painting reappeared when the mask canvas was removed from the water, conveying the message of how life will return to the seas when we remove the presence of masks from our oceans.

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