In all places of worship, people mainly offer money, food and other things for seeking blessings. But in Wat Chak Daeng temple in Thailand, one should bring plastic as offering. A rare gesture for protecting nature, the monks in the temple take offerings of plastic. And this plastic is used for weaving clothes for the monks in the temple.
The orange coloured robe that the monks wear is from recycled plastic collected from Chao Phraya River. Temple Abbot Maha Pranom Dhammalangkaro, who is instrumental of this venture, said that monks from other temples also started to order for the robes from plastic.
Reports said that they have already recycled about 40 tonnes of plastic in the two years since starting the programme. In the beginning, the temple authorities collected plastics from the river and sold them as they were not aware of doing anything else. This changed after PTT Global Chemical visited the temple. They worked with the temple and launched the recycling unit.
The bottles are first collected. The caps and labels are then separated. The bottles are then washed and crushed into a cube. In the factory, the cubes are cut into tiny grains and mixed with cotton and nano zinc oxide particles. Then they are stretched into thread.
The robes come from 34 per cent recycled plastic, 43 per cent silk, and 23 per cent polyester. Fifteen bottles are needed to make two meter long cloth. Before the robe was distributed among the monks, Maha Pranom wore it for almost a year to test it. He said that there was not much difference between robs made from recycled plastics and others.