Udayavni Special

These Buddhist Monks at Thai temple turn plastic bottles into saffron robes


Team Udayavani, Aug 13, 2020, 4:06 PM IST

At Buddhist temple in Thailand, plastics are recycled into polyester fibers, which is  made into fabric for saffron-colored robes for monks

Phra Maha Pranom Dhammalangkaro is a Buddhist monk leading a massive recycling effort in Thailand. It is said that every month around 10 tons of plastic bottles fished from the ocean and discarded on land are delivered to his temple in Wat Chak Deng, and the waste is repurposed into robes.

The monk says that he is practicing the Buddha’s teachings, which also align with solving the global environmental crisis

He has finetuned a process during which recycled plastic is mixed with cotton and zinc oxide nanoparticles to make synthetic fibers.

According to Taipei times, The temple has produced at least 800 sets of robes. Each set sells for between 2,000 baht and 5,000 baht (US$65.79 to US$164.47), to keep funding the project and pay waste-sorting volunteers, many of whom are local housewives, retirees and disabled persons

Also it is said that donating 1 kilogram of plastic bottles can help make a full set of monk robes, which has a high return value, both in terms of money and merits

The monks at Wat Chak Deng are not only making a concrete contribution to recycling, but they are raising awareness in their communities

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