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Buddhist Temple in Khun Han, Thailand

Though drinking is considered a sin in Buddhism, 1.5 million green Heineken and brown Chang beer bottles went into the construction of the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple. Located in the city of Khun Han, in north-east Thailand, the complex has been decades in the making. Enlisting the help of local authorities and residents, monks started collecting bottles in 1984. From the recyclables they have created the 20-building complex featuring the temple, houses, restrooms, crematorium, and also mosaics from discarded bottle tops.
The complex works as an eco-friendly, recycling initiative, functional building (the bottles don’t fade and are easy to clean), and – through the play of light on glass and the amount of elbow grease invested – a reflection of a cleansed mind and the discipline of Buddhism. The initiative has also helped clean up local pollution, and monks intend to expand further with every bottle they can collect.

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