A ‘Pollution Souvenir’ of canned air from Chiang Mai calls attention to smog problem

A campaign led by local businesses in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand has drawn attention to the very high levels of air pollution by selling ‘souvenir’ jars of air collected in the city.

Crop burning experienced on an annual basis from January through to April contributes to seasonally high PM concentrations. Each jar is labelled with the PM2.5 concentration observed on the day it was bottled. Businesses fear tourists, both from within Thailand and from elsewhere, are staying away from the destination, the country’s second largest city, because of the high pollution levels and the publicity this attracts. Owners are also concerned about their own health and that of their employees.

The accompanying social media campaign asks for visitors to pledge to come back again when the air is cleaner and hopes to force action to reduce pollution levels.

Read the full story by Kyle O’Brien published in The Drum.