With an abundance of plastic waste but a scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE), Thailand is turning trash into treasure by upcycling bottles into protective clothing for people at risk of coronavirus infection. Millions of plastic bottles have been collected, shredded and turned into threads to be weaved into fabrics eventually used for PPE, either for hospitals or Buddhist temples, where monks have been cremating coronavirus victims. “There are times where it is very difficult to get hold of PPE suits, sometimes even if you have money, you can’t buy. But now we’re making it out of upcycling plastic bottles so what’s trash is now valuable,” said Phra Maha Pranom Dhammalangkaro, abbott of Chakdaeng temple in Samt Prakan province near Bangkok. An estimated 18 million plastic bottles have been used since the middle of last year to make PPE suits.

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