Annabel Crater stretches out a length of “plarn” (plastic-bag yarn), one of the many steps in creating mats for the homeless and victims of natural disasters. Photo provided
Annabel Crater stretches out a length of “plarn” (plastic-bag yarn), one of the many steps in creating mats for the homeless and victims of natural disasters. Photo provided

Pizza and “plarn” were on the menu at Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ when members of the church’s CREW youth group, adults from SCUCC and the Green Team, Parish Nurse Linda Convertine, and others got together to help with a project CREW undertook earlier this year. The goal is to transform plastic grocery bags into mats that will be provided to homeless individuals and victims of natural disasters.

Thanks to the church members and others who donated hundreds of plastic grocery bags, the group had plenty of raw materials for their project. And thanks to Dean Skaugstad, who built looms to the required specifications, CREW has the tools needed to continue the effort.

Leaders on hand to offer instruction also pitched in as the bags were sorted, cut, tied into strips, and arranged on the looms. Weaving the plarn, or plastic yarn, results in a cushiony “fabric.” Each mat is made by joining two of the woven sections.

The multi-generational group that ranged in age from about 8 to 80 collaborated on the task and also enjoyed refreshments. As a bonus, everyone had a good time.