Saskatoon women recycling plastic bags into mats for homeless people

Two Saskatoon women are trying to recycle and do some good at the same time.

The Plastic Bag Project collecting bags, need 500 to 700 bags per mat

These plastic mats were made by the Wil-Mat Project in San Diego. (The Wil-Mat Project)

Two Saskatoon women are trying to recycle and do some good at the same time.

Saskatoon's Colby Kuzma and Alyssa Scheffler have started collecting thousands of plastic shopping bags that they plan to make into sleeping mats for homeless people. 

By cutting the bags into strips and crocheting them together, the plastic yarn mats can provide a hygienic, waterproof mat for homeless people to sleep on. 

"I thought it was a really cool idea," Kuzma told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning. "A few months ago, I learned how to crochet and I figured, 'I have the time and the skill set to do this now.'"

Now, the group has set up a bag drop-off point at the Lakewood Tennis Centre. They're going to need a lot of bags, however, Each mat requires 500 to 700 bags to create.

"We're trying to get two birds with one stone," said Scheffler. "It's nice to be able to mash up a need for environmental sustainability as well as bringing more of a conversation about homelessness and poverty in this city."

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So far, the group says they've been overwhelmed with the community's response to the project.

"People in Saskatoon are really generous people," said Kuzma. "They see projects like this going on, and they want to help."

Once they have enough mats made, the group plans to talk to local shelters to find the best method of distribution

With files from Saskatoon Morning