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‘Gym equipment’ made from recycled face masks

Called Peso, which is Italian for weight, product designer Michela Pinazza created various weights and a punching bag using used disposable face masks to draw attention to the ‘weight’ plastic waste has on the environment.

During the pandemic, the use of disposable face masks surged. 1.550 billion were used in just one year. We wear the masks for about 2 to 3 hours each, yet they take at least 500 years to decompose. Disposable face masks consist of 95% polypropylene, a thermoplastic, which is relatively easily recyclable.

Pinazza used over 10.000 masks to create the Peso collection. To make the weights, disposable masks were shredded, melted down and poured into a mould.

Each weight refers not to its actual weight, but to the number of masks used in the specific barbell. The largest contains 1840 masks and the smallest 105. As polypropylene is not very heavy, even the largest barbell won’t call for a heavy work-out. In addition to barbells, Pinazza also created roller wheels (420 or 210 masks) and dumbbells (between 175 and 400 masks). The last object is a punching bag, which is not made of melted down face masks like the other objects, but rather is stuffed with 4300 masks.

In addition to gym equipment, Pinazza als made a sphere which represents Earth and “symbolizes perfection and union, everything that has no beginning or end, continuous movement, the necessary change.”

Images: Michela Pinazza