Many COVID-19 related designs for wearable face masks and coverings have been on the scene since the pandemic began. Now there are furniture and sculptural designs meant to showcase the harmful environmental impact many of those single-use, medical masks are causing. Designer Tobia Zambotti created “COUCH-19.”
It resembles the amorphic shape of an iceberg, transparent and filled with single-use face masks. The symbolism of the iceberg points towards the environmental concern of global warming.
Many single-use face masks are made from layers of plastics and considered to be medical waste. Medical waster cannot be recycled in conventional recycling facilities. Additionally, many people discard or lose these type of face masks on the streets, causing widespread litter in nearly every town and city where they are regularly worn now. Zambotti is from Italy. He asked residents of Pergine Valsugana, a small village near Trento to collect masks off of the streets and around medical facilities (safely, of course!) to fill “COUCH-19.”
The design is made from recyclable, crystal PVC. “COUCH-19” shows the impact of sing-use masks, pollution caused by litter, and in general, the need for a different method of recycling medical waste.