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Muir of Ord woman turns discarded crisp packets into blankets for the homeless; Crisp Packet Project inspires crafty Ross-shire effort


By Federica Stefani

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Aine-Mhairi Nolan is creating sleeping bag protectors and blankets out of recycled crisps packets and plastic for the homeless.
She's pictured with mum Pamela who is helping her out
Picture: Gary Anthony
Aine-Mhairi Nolan is creating sleeping bag protectors and blankets out of recycled crisps packets and plastic for the homeless. She's pictured with mum Pamela who is helping her out Picture: Gary Anthony

A CRAFTY mother-and-daughter team from Ross-shire have put their skills – and discarded crisp packets – to good use to help the homeless.

Support assistant Áine-Mhairi Nolan (21) has been collecting empty crisp packaging to make heat-holding blankets for the good cause after being inspired by another activist.

A volunteer since the age of 14, she was inspired in her project by the work of Pen Hudson, who runs the Crisp Packet Project in England.

“One day I saw a Channel 4 clip from a documentary that was shared on Facebook,” said Miss Nolan.

“It made me think of how many bags of crisps we go through every day at work and I thought it was a brilliant idea to turn them into something so useful.

“At first, I thought it would take some time to collect the bags and make the blankets but it kind of blew up over night and now I am spending a lot of time organising collections or sorting the donations out."

The inner part of most crisp packets helps reflect body heat, keeping the person warmer, and can be used over a blanket or as an outside shell for sleeping bags.

Miss Nolan said that around 60 packets are needed to create a blanket and 150 for a bivvy bag to protect sleeping bags from humidity and make them last longer.

“The most difficult thing to find is the transparent plastic needed to put outside the crisp packets, which is the one you’ll find when you walk in to a furniture shop. Thankfully Tapi Carpets kindly donated a lot of it for the project.

“I also went to Aldi and Lidl after work and they were very happy to give me the material for the plastic bags. I have a lot at the moment but I hope to make as many blankets as I can.”

The inner part of most crisp packets helps reflect body heat, keeping the person warmer, and can be used over a blanket or as an outside shell for sleeping bags.

“It is not just for homeless people. These blankets can be used by anyone who has issues keeping their home heated in winter and can turn out very useful.Even if this plastic is not recyclable at least this way it is being re-purposed and will last longer and not go straight into a landfill.”

Helping her with the creation of the blankets is her mother Pamela.

“She has really helped me out a lot, we spent hours cutting the packets, cleaning them and most importantly finding the right temperature for the iron so that it melts the packets but it’s not too hot.

“We are both very crafty people and my mother used to run an arts and crafts shop so it is something we really like to do.

“It would be fantastic if more people got involved and created other blankets at home.”

More information about the project can be found at crisppacketproject.com or on their Facebook page.

Story to share? Email hector.mackenzie@hnmedia.co.uk



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