Interweave Yarn Hacks: What to do with Plastic Bags

If you’ve ever been to the grocery store in your life, chances are you have some plastic bags lying around. I prefer to use reusable bags when I grocery shop, but I am human, and occasionally forget to bring them with me. Next best in that situation would be to use a paper bag, or no bag at all. Alas, there are times when one has no choice but to take another plastic bag or two home and put them with one’s ever-growing collection.

I don’t know about you, but I hate having these plastic bags around. They are useful as trash liners in small trash bins, and as doggy poo bags, but other than that they are a nuisance to homes and to the environment. According to the Earth Policy Institute, as of October 2014, we humans go through 2 million plastic bags each minute worldwide, which rounds out to a trillion bags per year. These plastic bags will take about 1,000 years to disintegrate, and in the meantime they are going into landfills and bodies of water. They are a nuisance to animals and ecosystems.

So, instead of tossing your plastic bags or using them as trash bin liners (which will inevitably end up in landfills as well), you can make your own yarn—or plarn—out of them! You can use the yarn to crochet or knit baskets or bags—perfect for reusable bags for the grocery store! To make the yarn, you start by flattening the bag. Next, you fold it long-ways twice, snip off the closed end and the handles, and then cut it into strips about an inch wide. Open up the strips and secure the circles of plastic together using the method in this Hacks video. After you have some length, start winding a ball! Once you get in the swing of things you can really get through a lot of bags in no time at all. When you run out of plarn, simply make more and tie the end to the working yarn of your WIP. You can mix up the order of colors of bags for a blended look, or work all similar colors together to get a color-blocked effect.

What would you make out of your plarn?

Happy hacking!
—Yarn Hacks Team


  1. Kathleen J at 10:22 am June 30, 2017

    I understand that there are groups who use plarn to make sleeping mats for homeless persons.

  2. Carolyn F at 1:05 pm June 30, 2017

    I make bags out of plarn. perfect for wet bathing suits,

  3. J P at 2:10 pm June 30, 2017
  4. Susan C at 4:09 pm June 30, 2017

    I wonder if this will make a gardening mat to protect the knees.

  5. Kristina at 10:48 am July 19, 2018

    I use the fabric reusable grocery bags for most of my shopping, except when I need more plastic ones to line my small bathroom and bedroom trash cans. I’ve been saving the bags from the dry cleaner to make plarn. They’ll make a very long piece of plarn before I have to add another length.

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