A temple in the rural Phetchaburi province has come up with its own small way to prevent plastic bottles from ending up in the ocean — it’s using them to construct a bridge that spans the town river. The 42-meter-long structure, along with four rowboats also crafted from empty bottles, are featured as the main attractions in its new riverside market.
Wat Thong Noppakun announced on their Facebook page that, at “92 percent completion,” the temple’s riverside market is on schedule for its grand opening tomorrow morning.
The abbot, Phra Kru Kosorn Watcharatham, told Coconuts that about 25,000 recycled plastic bottles were used in building the “recycled bridge,” which is held together with a bamboo frame. He confidently states that it’s been tested and can hold up to 80 adults.
The used bottles were brought to the temples by locals in the area.
The abbot credited the idea and design to the temple’s monks, adding that at the market’s opening ceremony tomorrow, 30 monks will walk across the bridge to bless it.
As for the rowboats, each was made from about 500 plastic bottles and can hold up to 150 kilograms of weight. The temple used the bottles it had left over to build fences and pillars as thematic decorations.
The temple hopes to encourage a sustainable mindset in the community, a response to the national plastic-pollution crisis and the vast number of used bottles discarded every day in Thailand. It also had the bonus of promoting teamwork in the village.
“We had our first meeting on May 22 and spent every day since constructing these recycled structures. We worked from morning to about 8pm on a daily basis,” Phra Kru Kosorn said.
“We would like to invite everyone to come see tomorrow. We are very excited for its opening,” he added.
The temple expects to hold the market every weekend, starting tomorrow.
As the Thais would say with pressed palms, Saaaaa-tu.