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Kings County woman turning bags into mats for shelters

Tammy Burns has started crocheting plastic shopping bags into mats or blankets that she plans to donate to homeless shelters, but says doing so can also deal with the the glut of bags in the province that no longer have a market as a recyclable.
IAN FAIRCLOUGH • THE CHRONICLE HERALD
Tammy Burns has started crocheting plastic shopping bags into mats or blankets that she plans to donate to homeless shelters, but says doing so can also deal with the the glut of bags in the province that no longer have a market as a recyclable. IAN FAIRCLOUGH • THE CHRONICLE HERALD - The Chronicle Herald

A Kings County woman who crochets mats out of used plastic shopping bags to give to homeless shelters hopes to keep some bags out of landfills for now.

Tammy Burns said she had heard about the use for the bags some time ago.

“I wanted to do it a few years ago, but had no idea how to do it,” she said. She talked with someone recently who pointed her in the right direction and then she was underway.

She said it takes about 700 bags to make one mat. It takes her about three weeks because she does the work while working full-time. Burns rolls the bags, cuts them into strips and ties them together into a continuous strand, which she crochets into material that can be used a mat or blanket.

Most of the bags were donated by friends and family. She keeps bags from stores together to make various coloured strands.

She said the bag mats are not designed to be warm but they can at least keep the dampness off someone.

Burns said a local shelter told her some clientsdon’t like to stay there overnight, and she figuresone mat could be used to sit on and another to cover up in. If there is no local need, she

will see if the mats can be used in Halifax.

“It’s just to help out,” Burns said. “And it keeps a lot of bags out of the landfill, which makes me happy.”

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