How the ‘Bag Ladies’ Turn Plastic Bags Into Sleeping Mats for Homeless

UNION CITY, TN -- It wasn't too long ago the city of Dallas tried to tax plastic bags, hoping to put a stop to what the city saw as a plastic bag problem.

But taxes aren't always the solution. And sometimes thinking outside of the box does the trick, like turning bags into balls of plarn. Yes, plarn with a 'p.'

About now you're probably asking "what could this 'plarn' possibly be used for?" Well, it's being used for good. A lot of it.

That's because a group of women in Tennessee is turning old plastic bags into sleeping mats to help flood victims wherever they may be. They call themselves - "the bag ladies."

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

They've already sent a bunch down to families in Louisiana who lost their homes in last month's flood. And the mats really aren't that hard to make, either. They cut the bags into strips, tie the strips together and roll it into a ball before becoming beds.

The finished product uses more than 600 plastic bags and is typically about three by six feet. So far this year, they've made 88 mats. That's more than 52,000 plastic bags they've recycled.

A unique and clever way of solving 2 problems. It's enough to help anyone sleep better at night.