Lamphun monks ahead of the trend to eliminate single-use plastic bags

Phra Samutnatthee Suvathato, the deputy Abbot of the Wat Pa Book, in the Pa Sang district of Thailand’s northern province of Lamphun, says their temple has been ahead of the trend to reduce the use of plastics for two decades.

Lamphun is just south of Chiang Mai.

They’ve already been using a portable kitchen cabinet to receive alms from Buddhist disciples for years.

Speaking to Thai PBS, the Abbot says the monks used to carry a Bento lunch box to receive alms from the local community but started using a portable kitchen cabinet placed on a push cart or a tricycle about 20 years ago.

“They say it’s more convenient and can carry more food.”

The senior monk said that, at first, people put food in plastic bags and gave it to the monks, but he asked them to put food on plates or wrap it in banana leaves. He admitted that, during the initial period, his advice wasn’t followed because most people in the neighborhood bought food at the market, because the alms were collected in the very early morning.

So he advised monks at the temple to start their alms round at 7.30am, an hour later, so people had time to prepare food themselves and present it to the monks without the use of plastic bags.

Besides encouraging people in the local area to stop using plastic bags, the deputy abbot said that his monks also work with the people in the area to turn food waste and fallen leaves into compost for cultivation.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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