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Sustainable fashion is monks’ passion - Buddhist monks in Thailand upcycle plastic bottles into saffron robes

Buddhist monks in Phra Pradaeng, Thailand, have come up with an innovative way of upcycling plastic waste that would otherwise contaminate the environment. Monks from the Wat Chat Daeng temple send plastic bottles they fish from the Chao Phraya River to be processed into synthetic fibres that are used to make their iconic safron robes. The monks are supported by volunteers who go on 'fishing' sprees with them to help collect the trash. The collected and donated plastic is sent to a recycling plant where cotton and zinc oxide is mixed with the plastic bottle material. The resulting synthetic fibres are then blended with cotton strands which the monks use to make the monastic robes. Roughly 12 plastic bottles are said to be used to make one robe and as the monks are not permitted to sell them they give them away to other monasteries.
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