Plastic grocery bags are considered by some to be a nuisance. In many municipalities, they are not recyclable, so they are difficult to dispose.
However, there is a local group of women who use these bags to create sleeping mats for the homeless. They call themselves the Plarning Angels. Plarn means plastic yarn made from plastic bags.
The Plarning Angels were created when Cecile Peters saw a news account of high school students creating mats from plastic bags as an extracurricular activity. In 2019, she gathered some of her friends, who have loving and kind hearts, to work on this project. They taught themselves how to create yarn from the bags and how to crochet mats and pillows. The time-consuming activity consists of collecting bags, cutting them into strips, creating plarn balls and crocheting the materials into mats and pillows.
It takes around 1,000 bags and one month to complete a set. A set consists of a 6-foot sleeping mat, a sitting mat and a pillow. The sitting mat and pillow are rolled into the larger mat, with straps attached for easy transport.
“We do the preparation process throughout the year to have the finished products ready for the fall season,” Peters said. “The sets are given to organizations during the months of November and December.”
The group has donated sets to the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans and Project U First. According to Peters, the feedback from recipients is always a pleasant shock.
“They seem surprised when they see the finished products and feel the soft texture,” she said. “They are very grateful and appreciative.”
For more information, or to be part of the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For simple, step by step directions on converting plastic bags into sleeping mats, visit www.youtube.com.
– Margaret Miller has been a resident of Cherokee County for the past decade. Her writing hobby led her to become a columnist for community and daily newspapers.