Plastics Insulating Polyfloss for Economic Roofing (PIPER)

The “Plastics Insulating Polyfloss for Economic Roofing” (PIPER) project, undertaken by Green Decision Labs and Research (GD Labs) in collaboration with World Vision International Nepal, addressed the critical issue of plastic waste management by upcycling polypropylene waste into polyfloss fibers for thermal insulation. Implemented in Bhajani, Kailali, the project utilized the decentralized polyfloss machine PF-0002 to convert discarded PP plastics into insulating fibers. These fibers were used to insulate classrooms in Mahunyal Higher Secondary School and Shree Seti Maiya Chaudhary Secondary School, aiming to mitigate the extreme summer heat that affected student comfort and learning conditions. By training local manpower to operate the machine and involving community members in the production process, the project not only provided practical waste management solutions but also enhanced local capacity and created employment opportunities.

The pilot project produced 966.61 kg of polyfloss from 1017.09 kg of PP pellets over three months, demonstrating a feasible recycling process with an average production rate of 4.28 kg/hr. The insulation resulted in a temperature reduction of up to 1.9 °C in classrooms, though simulations suggested that improved installation techniques could have enhanced this reduction to 7-10 °C. Despite operational challenges such as temperature control and machine component issues, the project successfully showcased the potential of recycled polypropylene for thermal insulation. The initiative also emphasized community involvement, empowered local women from the Tharu community, and provided economic benefits through training and employment. Overall, the PIPER project highlighted the dual benefits of environmental sustainability and economic development, offering a promising approach to improving classroom conditions in hot climates while managing plastic waste effectively in Nepal

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