New Life For Old Bags

Plastic shopping bags an an environmental problem in many ways, and the New Life for Old Bags (NLOB) project seeks to counteract some of negatives by making a positive project. Although ideally we seek to prevent the wasted resources, litter and trash by reducing the use of bags by bringing your own on shopping trips, SEED also collects the bags in Norris in a collaboration with Environmental Campus Outreach (ECO).

NLOB converts thin plastic bags into plastic yarn or “plarn” that is used to make sleeping mats for the homeless in Chicago. We crochet the plarn into 6ft x 2ft sleeping pads that each put 500 – 700 bags to a better use. A detailed description of the process is available at this site.

The mats are distributed by Cornerstone Community Outreach to those who need it most because they are unable to take advantage of existing shelter programs. The products are especially appreciated now that the already underfunded government programs are being cut at the local, state and federal levels.

Come to one of our workdays, viewable on the SEED calendar, to get a hands on look at the project and get involved in a good cause. For more information, please contact

A photo of a fun recent workday!