‘Bag Ladies’ turn plastic bags into sleeping mats for homeless

UNION CITY, Tenn. -- A group of women in Tennessee found a way to help people in need, and the environment, at the same time.

They call themselves, "the bag ladies."

They are taking old plastic bags and turning them into mats for the homeless to sleep on.

Some were sent to Louisiana to help people who lost their homes to flooding.

"It's addictive. It gets to the point that you do two or three and you say, 'Hey, I'm actually making a difference in someone's life,' and you want to do more," said Janice Akin.

It all starts with cutting plastic bags into strips, tying those strips together, and rolling them into a ball.

The Bag Ladies call it "plarn," instead of yarn. They then crochet the "plarn" into mats.

It takes 600 bags to make an 18 square foot mat. So far, this year, they have used 52,000 bags to make 88 mats.

"This is not young ladies doing this. This is older ladies with the arthritis," said Akin.

The group of "bag ladies" has doubled in size since they met for the first time less than two years ago.

They get together every Thursday at Second Baptist Church in Union City.

"It's wonderful that it's growing, that others want to help all these people," said Patty Arnold.