The Thai temple turning plastic waste into pandemic PPE
Song Khanong, Thailand, Sep 14 (EFE).- A Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Bangkok is recycling discarded plastic bottles and turning them into much-needed Personal Protective Equipment for people on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
The monks at Wat Chak Daeng temple in Samut Prakan are killing two birds with one stone by tackling a newfound problem — a lack of appropriate clothing to deal with cremations of Covid-19 victims — as well as a much more long-standing issue, plastic waste.
The suits the temple produces are also donated to high risk people such as undertakers, scavengers and medical workers.
According to the temple’s abbot, 20 plastic bottles go into making one PPE suit.
The temple has been part of the recycling program since 2018, but has started trying to address shortages of much-needed specialist gear to fight the pandemic, with Thailand seeing well over 10,000 new cases each day in recent months.
Each year, Thailand produces more than 2 million tonnes of plastic waste, but the pandemic has seen that figure skyrocket as people increasingly rely on takeout and delivery services.
According to city estimates, over 3,400 tonnes of plastic was discarded every day in April, when the latest severe outbreak began. That represents a significant jump from the just over 2,100 tonnes consumed every 24 hours a year ago.EFE