As a way to Be Kind to our community, we identified a way to recycle plastic bags by re-purposing bags into plarn (plastic yarn) to be used to make sleeping mats for the homeless. 

This process can be replicated at home or in the workplace. Which role will you enjoy most?

  1. Sorter. Sort the bags by color and thicker bags should be set aside to be used as the base of the mat (these pieces will run long ways to hold the mat together). 
  2. Folder. Take your plastic bags and flatten them on a solid surface and fold them in half and then half again. 
  3. Trimmer. You will want to carefully trim off the top and bottom of the bag and toss these pieces into the recycle bin. You will then cut 2-3inch strips using scissors, a paper trimmer, or a rotary cutter.
  4. Looper. You will take these cut pieces and loop them together to make the plarn. Once you have several yards of plarn, you will roll these up into a ball.  
  5. Weaver. Using a peg loom, you will weave the plarn to make the sleeping mat. 

It takes approximately 700 bags to make one mat. We have collected over 8,000 plastic bags since launching our Plastic Bag Recycling Program in July of this year. We were thrilled to see how many employees, residents, family members, and volunteers from the community came together to recycle their bags and donate their time to help make these sleeping mats for the homeless. 

Sue Roemer from The Sleeping Mat Project has been instrumental in helping us set up Mat Making Days at multiple locations. Once complete, our mats will be donated to Angels in Motion who will distribute them to those who are homeless in the Philadelphia area. 

For more information on how you can support this effort, please contact Sue at or 215-806-7883.