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SOCIETY & CULTURE

Will China’s Ban on Plastic Waste Imports Choke the World?

Still from the award-winning documentary “Plastic China,” shot in a coastal town in Shandong province, which has recycled plastic waste imported from the U.S., UK, Germany and other Asian countries for nearly three decades. China will ban all imports of plastic waste on Jan. 1, 2018. Photo: Wang Jiuliang
Still from the award-winning documentary “Plastic China,” shot in a coastal town in Shandong province, which has recycled plastic waste imported from the U.S., UK, Germany and other Asian countries for nearly three decades. China will ban all imports of plastic waste on Jan. 1, 2018. Photo: Wang Jiuliang

In a coastal Shandong province town, adults sorted through piles of plastic waste with their bare hands, while children played among trash imported from the U.S., U.K. or other parts of Asia.

Toddlers sucked unidentified liquid from discarded syringes and blew blue plastic gloves like balloons. These are some of the scenes from the award-winning independent documentary “Plastic China,” which went viral in early 2016 before suddenly disappearing from the Chinese internet.

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