Yangon: The time of the epidemic brought many challenges, one of those challenges was waste disposal. The same thing happened in Myanmar. During the outbreak there, when a prominent Buddhist monk saw his neighbors in Yangon extracting a lot of plastic waste, they decided to do something about it.
Abbott Otamasara (51), who runs the Thabarwa meditation center, thought about using these plastic containers as an alternative to bowls to distribute food to the needy. Hearing this request, people were surprised, but later their efforts brought tremendous color.
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Today, his team receives thousands of used plastic bottles every day with the help of dozens of volunteers, which they recycle and transform them into food containers or materials used in meditation centers.
He said: “During the pandemic, when I went out to collect donations to provide food to the needy, I saw a lot of plastic waste being dumped on the road.”
Since the Burmese authorities do not regularly recycle waste, around 2,500 tonnes of waste are dumped in Yangon every day. It is either thrown into the streets or burned.
Otamasara said: “So we thought about recycling these plastic bottles and using them as food containers. This not only saves money, but also eliminates plastic waste.
They estimated that they had so far recycled 2 lakh plastic bottles or 2 tons of garbage, saving around $ 10,000.
The 3.6 hectare (9 acre) meditation center holds workshops to deal with plastic waste.
Volunteers use plastic bottles to make parasols. He even used tires and cement filled with plastic waste in the construction of the shelter’s walls.