An insulation made from recycled plastic
The Waste for Warmth partnership is developing and testing a new approach to shelter winterisation by making tent insulation in the field. The insulation is made from recycled plastic, using a technology called Polyfloss that resembles candy-floss in appearance.
The Polyfloss machine heats and spins the plastic chips into a mass of thin fibres.
These are the main steps in transforming waste plastics into new products, using the Polyfloss technology.
Plastic waste is an abundant material in refugee camps across the world, as a byproduct of the humanitarian responses. Upcycling local waste gives discarded and single use plastics materials a new life as insulation products.
Setting up local production offers work opportunities for displaced people to generate income. Localized responses also alleviate the need for shipment of material from afar at great cost and environmental impact.
Improvised as well as planned shelters for displaced people lack long-term provisions for winter conditions. Living conditions are made worse by the need to burn unclean fuels for heating. Solutions to retrofit existing tents with insulation material are cost efficient and reduces the need for fuel.