Milk bags are the best bags for making mats to sleep on. They are not biodegradable and will last for many, many years. Angela has 2 original milk bags, and they are over 50 years old. They are in good shape, not falling apart and could be used in the mats, but she keeps them just to show people how old they are and how they do not break down.
Shopping bags do fall apart but the effort of the ladies to make the mats is wonderful. They make great floor mats , but not great and soft sleeping ones. We all have optimistic hopes that people who receive the mats made with the shopping bags will be off the streets sooner rather than later. So, the effort to use up the shopping bags is a very honorable one.
Milkbagsunlimited receives about 5 million milk bags a year from the manufacturer. These bags are all seconds and would end up in the landfill if they were not used. We can get even more than 5 million from them, but we need the people to process them, and even though many hundreds of people work on this project, we cannot process all the bags that are available.
Many grocery bags get ripped or have a hole in them before one even gets home from shopping. So, we know they fall apart easily. Perhaps when they are cut and tied and crocheted, they are somewhat stronger.
Milk bag sleeping mats last an incredibly long time. This winter, many mats have gone to needy people in Canada but usually, most of the mats made go overseas and are in people’s homes, they are not carried around and their poverty, unfortunately seems to last forever, so their soft, long lasting mat is a beautiful gift of love.