When the chips are down, you’re sleeping rough and winter nights draw in, a warm blanket is desperately needed.
A few more of these will be making their way to locals in need thanks to the students of Whangaparāoa College, led by teacher Denise Davies.
Denise was keen to get involved as soon as she heard about the project to make blankets out of discarded potato chip packets – the Chip Packet Project NZ wants to make 3000 this winter for the homeless and displaced.
They might not sound very cosy as bedding material, but chip packets, which are plastic on one side with foil backing, provide a good insulating layer.
“They are warm, but not comfortable,” Denise says.
She got in touch with the project’s national coordinator, Terrena Griffiths, and she and her students got started. The collection, cutting, cleaning, and drying of chip packets is ongoing.
The packets fuse together when heat is applied, and another layer of recycled plastic is applied back and front to make blankets 2m x 1.5m – enough to wrap an adult’s body.
Denise says woollen or synthetic fabric blankets can get wet or mouldy when used outside, and the plastic ones are easier to fully dry.
Her Year 8 class have been the most involved, but other students are also joining in with blanket assembly and chip packet collection.
Denise hopes they can make half a dozen blankets in total.