Volunteers recycle plastic bags into mats for the homeless in Northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Volunteers are turning unused and unwanted plastic bags into something useful and distributing sleeping mats to homeless individuals who are not in Northeast Ohio shelters.

The technique was recently demonstrated at an event in Shaker Heights promoting sustainability and recycling.

"We're using a peg loom to weave together plastic bags," says Shaker Heights City Councilwoman Julianna Johnston Senturia. She added, "The mats are adult-sized and used by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless as part of their emergency outreach program."

Councilwoman Senturia said about 600 bags are used in the construction of each mat, which are given to homeless individuals who are not ready to enter a shelter situation.

The Sustainable Shaker Task Force has six looms that are passed around in the community, allowing students, families, and other volunteers to make a plastic bag mat that benefits the homeless.

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