New Zealand Anglicans recycle used foil into survival blankets for homeless people

By Julanne Clarke-Morris
Posted Feb 14, 2022

[Anglican Taonga (Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia)] Auckland Anglican Terrena Griffiths is encouraging churches to get involved in a new project she launched for Aotearoa New Zealand during the September 2021 lockdown.

Known as the Chip Packet Project NZ (CPPNZ), the national organization that Terrena coordinates is modeled on the U.K.’s Chip Packet Project, started by Hastings-based artist Pen Huston. Worried by news of people dying from exposure on U.K. streets, Huston found she could make survival blankets to protect people sleeping rough by fusing together washed and flattened foil-lined chip packets.

Today her organization has grown to provide the survival bag service in several U.K. cities.

In Aotearoa, volunteers have taken up the challenge of upcycling used bubble wrap and foil-lined single use packaging from the foil-lined packets of potato chips, nachos or crackers and fusing them together to make survival sleeping bag covers. The tools they use are simple: an iron, some baking paper and a breadboard.

Once the flattened and fused packets are attached to a bigger sheet of plastic they can be used as survival blankets, pillows or ground sheets to help protect people sleeping out in the elements.

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