From bags to blankets, more volunteers needed

RECYCLING: Ashburton District Neighbourhood Support manager Sue Abel (from left) and Base Youth Centre members Lere’ Groenewald and Anahera Tahapehi, and Base coordinator Jenny Rae.
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Empty foil chip bags have been gathered by Base Youth Centre and Ashburton District Neighbourhood Support (ADNHS) will be turned into survival blankets.

Young people at Base are cleaning the bags ready for a survival blanket making session for volunteers this Saturday from 10am to 2pm at the library, Te Kete Tuhinga.

ADNHS manager Sue Abel said by recycling the bags they were being saved from landfill. ‘‘It takes 70 years for one bag to break down, so we are saving the planet and the blankets may just save a life,’’ she said.

Base co-ordinator Jenny Rae said hundreds, if not thousands, of chip packets had been collected. Youth had been busy cleaning them in preparation for the working bee.

Centre member Lere’ Groenewald, 13, said it was great to be helping the environment by saving the bags from landfill.

Anahera Tahapehi, 12 said she had enjoyed cleaning them while at Base, and she knows once they are made into blankets they will help people.

‘‘If we can get a team together we can make a blanket in an hour. The bags are fused together with a hot iron. We back them and bind them with bias binding,’’ Abel said.

A single bed-sized blanket takes about 60 bags. The blankets will go to Ashburton District Civil Defence which in an emergency work with ADNHS to look after the community.

‘‘Once we get a group established to regularly make the blankets we can look to talk with other agencies to see if there are others in the community who could benefit from having a foil blanket,’’ Abel said.

District Council compliance and development group manager Jane Donaldson said the district council applauded any activity that helped reduce waste and make the district more sustainable.

  • Volunteers are needed to make foil bags into survival blankets at the library Te Kete Tuhinga anytime on June 15, 10am to 2pm. Foil chip bags can be dropped at Base Youth Centre or Neighbourhood Support.