UNWANTED plastic bags godsend for homeless

UNWANTED plastic bags godsend for homeless
Work for the Dole volunteer with a mat he made to help the homeless. Photo by Lawrence Pinder

Turning unwanted plastic into sleeping mats and pillows for the homeless a wonderful Work for the Dole initiative. 

Sarina Russo Job Access Dandenong / Ringwood are Carers of Africa’s lead Work for the Dole providers for their ‘Sleep Well’ project. 

Carers of Africa Dandenong manager Diane Carrick said Work for the Dole participants have been creating the mats, which take about 40 hours and between 500 to 700 bags to develop. 

She said they are made by flattening, folding and cutting the bags, then crocheting or looming them to make the final product. 

“The plastic bags repel parasites and are moisture resistant, durable, lightweight, easy to store, and make a great temperature barrier,” Ms Carrick said. 

She said apart from being comfortable, the concept was environmentally friendly. 

“It’s saving all plastic bags that are going into the rubbish … and none of the bag is being wasted.” 

Ms Carrick said she hoped to help hundreds of those sleeping rough.

“I have acquired the national excess supply of 3.6 million bags from Masters, worth over $100,000, which gives us the potential to make 5000 mats.” 

Ms Carrick said a toiletry pack worth $15 would be donated with every mat and pillow.

To donate plastic bags, head to 8A 50-54 Robinson Street, Dandenong or call 9706 9887 for more information. 

Carers of Africa is committed to supporting disadvantaged people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds and members of the African community in Victoria.

Story - Jamie First, Greater Dandenong Leader

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