China is a great country, and a lot of the time people refer to it as “The Middle Kingdom”.
However, a recent documentary by Wang Jiuliang suggests we call it the “Plastic kingdom”.
“Plastic Kingdom” is an upcoming documentary by local film maker Wang Jiuliang (王久良), that shows how waste plastics from all over the world are transported to China and recycled, causing serious pollution problem in many parts of the country. There are a lot of large scale recycling centers specializing in handling foreign waste plastics, located in provinces like Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin municipality.
The documentary shows the whole process of recycling: whereby sorted materials are ground down, a process requiring large amounts of water, before “prilling”—a process in which plastics are dissolved and stretched into slim strips. These strips are subsequently used in the manufacturing of new products, reports China News. The recycling process harms nature, causing serious pollution problems, for example using water in the recycling process harms both underground and surface water because of waste water discharged down the rivers, while burning waste produces large amount of toxic gas. Recycling is also harmful to workers involved in the process, they can easily be exposed to poisonous and corrosive elements.
Jiuliang spent three years working on this project, visiting plastic different recycling centers around China to get a deeper understanding of the recycling industry, and get to the roots of the problem of wastes. The filmmaker hopes the 90 min length movie that will come up in early 2015 will raise awareness about the problem: “I made this documentary, hoping to influence exporting countries and push the solving of this problem at its source”. Wang Jiuliang is already a famous documentarian, after achieving fame for his work on “Beijing Besieged by Waste”, another documentary about waste disposal and pollution around the capital.
Image courtesy of 王久良