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Monks in Thailand Recycled 40 Million Tonnes of Plastic to Convert Into Their Orange Robes




The global population continues to creatively reuse plastic and reduce its consumption. A group of monks recently inspired pilgrims to donate plastic to a Buddhist temple in Thailand. In return, they have created vibrant robes out of what was once considered to be waste.


Thailand is one of the largest contributors to plastic pollution and the monks at a Buddhist temple are doing their part in promoting a healthy environment.


“I’m practicing the Buddha’s teachings, which also align with solving the global environmental crisis,” says Phra Maha Pranom Dhammalangkaro, 54, abbot of the temple in Samut Prakan province, just south of Bangkok.



Phra Maha Pranom Dhammalangkaro leads the Wat Chak Daeng temple in Samut Prakan Province, just south of Bangkok, and has turned it into a recycling haven.

Rather than receiving food or money as contributions, locals are giving plastic to support their cause.

After plastic donations have been received, a large machine separates specific items which are then brought to a plant to break down the items into fibers. Once broken down, the monks dye the fibers and create saffron orange robes.


Not only does this contribute to the environmental crisis the modern world faces, but it also helps support the Buddhist temple. The robes created out of recycled plastic are worth up to and sold for 2,000 – 5,000 baht ($65.79- $164.47).


In just two years, the monks have crushed and converted up to 40 tonnes (88,185 lb) of plastic. 



According to Reuters, “Not only are the monks making a concrete contribution to recycling, but they are raising awareness in their communities,” said Chever Voltmer, Director for Plastics Initiatives at Ocean Conservancy.


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