Thais upcycle plastic bottles into PPE suits

    Upcycling plastic bottles to cope with the increasing demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has been adopted by the Thais since the middle of last year.

    RAYONG — A textile factory here in Rayong province, which usually makes fabrics for major global brands, started recycling plastic bottles into threads, spun into a giant roll, and then woven into fabric that gets treated to become water resistant.

    Temple volunteers sew these fabrics into PPE suits for hospitals and monks, who have been cremating coronavirus victims amidst the surge of Covid-19 cases that has claimed thousands of lives in Thailand.

    According to Phra Maha Pranom Dhammalangkaro, abbot of Chakdaeng temple, each PPE suit is made out of 18 plastic bottles.

    “There are times when 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 was trash is now valuable,” the abbot said.

    Some 18 million plastic bottles have been used since the middle of last year to make fabric for PPEs, according to the factory operator. The upcycled protective coveralls, however, are not medical-grade.

    Still, abbot Dhammalangkaro said that they are providing at least a layer of protection for people exposed to COVID-19 and hopefully helping save the environment as well. (TRC/The MiNT)

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