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Waste plastic is recycled to produce plastic bags, condoms become food bags

Colorful plastic bags are around us every day. We used them to hold live fish, hot steamed buns, and oily fried vegetables in the market… But do you know that the prototype of these plastic bags, which are beautiful and safe to use, may be a needle tube, a condom, or even a mixture of several garbage bags. Our reporter tracked and secretly visited for seven days, recording the process of turning garbage bags into disposable plastic bags. Step 1: Recycle the hand paper bags and injection bags. Peel them all and sell them for money. At 18:00 on November 13, an ordinary garbage spot on Ziqiang Street in Changchun City was full of garbage. Old Madam Zhang, who was in her 50s, was squatting on the garbage and seriously tearing each bag of garbage. However, her prey was not the items in the bag but the garbage bag itself. “Thirty fifty one catties. It’s not easy to pick up anything. Money comes quickly.” Old Madam Zhang is a regular visitor to this rubbish spot. Her daily task is to “peel” the rubbish at different rubbish spots. She will empty all wet bags splashed with juice or toilet paper bags in the toilets of each bathroom. These bags will be sent to the waste purchase station early tomorrow morning to exchange money. In addition, one of her “extras” is disposable syringes and injection bags thrown out by several private clinics nearby. Old Madam Zhang said that almost all the purchase stations in Changchun accept these things, and the price of medical waste is higher. Step 2: Cleaning. No matter toxic or not, they are only stacked by color. On November 14, a Tianling minivan drove into a courtyard near Balibao in the eastern suburb of Changchun City, opened the car’s baffle, and various waste plastic bags with rotten smell poured out. The workers in the courtyard will sort the garbage bags by color after cleaning, whether they are disposable syringes or used condoms, the workers will only classify them by color, Because in the high temperature of the machine, they will all turn into plastic particles, which are also the raw materials of disposable plastic bags and other plastic products. At this time, the reporter heard the roar of the motor coming from a simple plastic shed, and several female workers with head scarves were throwing plastic bags into the old machine in the flying plastic. “Big clods and sundries will be knocked out here, otherwise the machine will be stuck.” The female worker said that the main function of the machine was to crush and strip the soil on the garbage bag. In the deep of the shed, a device similar to a waterwheel is washing the plastic. “Can this be cleaned?” The reporter asked. “Just wash the little mud lump. A broken plastic is not clean, and you can’t see anything when you burn it later.” A worker answered. “Where does the water flow?” “Isn’t this the land ahead? Dig a ditch and it will all flow out.” “Is this plastic bag poisonous?” “All kinds of bags are available. You say they are poisonous.” Step 3: Melting. Sometimes the processed food bags are also filled with recycled materials. Then the reporter comes to the production workshop. There is a row of crushing tanks in the workshop. There are roller like gears stirring and cutting in the water. A worker keeps filling the waste plastic bags. A machine is connected to the other end of the furnace to continuously extrude plastic wires like noodles. These black plastic wires are quickly cut into half centimeter long particles. “We can’t make the non-toxic and tasteless food bag you want to make. It needs fine materials, which will cost 10000 yuan a ton.” The fine materials mentioned by the boss refer to polyethylene and polypropylene refined from petroleum. The boss took the reporter outside the room and pointed to a pile of white plastic, saying that these white materials were good recycled materials, which also cost 7000 yuan per ton. “These materials can be used as high-density food bags.” “Aren’t these recycled products poisonous?” The reporter asked, “Where is it that there is no poison? If the fine material is not poisonous, everyone will lose money and have to add some of this material.” A worker beside the boss interposed. The boss said that he only produces granules, and he has no control over what granules can do. Step 4: The small bag making processing point can process one ton of raw materials a day. A processing point specializing in processing disposable plastic bags is near Songjiawazi. The closed door makes this processing point seem mysterious. This is a large courtyard. One side of the wall is filled with plastic granules. Five or six film blowers are placed opposite the door. Light blue plastic bags are constantly blowing out of one machine, and then are cut and packaged by several women workers nearby. According to the workers, they buy particles of different colors from other factories and fill them with different masterbatches to make disposable plastic bags of different colors such as blue, white, black and red. It is reported that this processing site can process one ton of raw materials a day. “Can you make food bags here?” The reporter asked. “It’s too pure to make it. It’s used material and can only be made into hand bags, but they are all the same. Except for big supermarkets, they are all used in the market.” A worker said. “Is this material degraded?” “The materials are old, and the re degradation plant will be yellow.” It’s OK to earn seven or eight hundred yuan per ton of raw materials. A boss of a plastic factory in Shenyang who has just entered the Changchun market revealed that, “In fact, I used to make this kind of recycling bag. It was a small investment, tens of thousands of dollars for a machine, thousands of dollars for renting a factory, and it can be produced when the door is closed. When the market was booming, it was OK to earn seven or eight hundred yuan from processing a ton of raw materials. If you look at how much polyethylene is now, more than 10000 tons, the more expensive the fine materials are, the more market they have.” Step 5: The price of selling “poison bags” is low, but there is no market price. Recycled plastic bags with low market prices firmly occupy the stalls in various farmers’ markets. A plastic dealer on Guangfu Road calculated that “the average price of a non-toxic food bag made of polyethylene materials is 6-8 cents, but for a dime, a steamed bread seller can buy 10 ordinary bags from me.” With the sharp tool of price, disposable plastic bags made of recycled plastic flow through wholesale markets and street vendors to grocery stores, restaurants and other food related industries. Experts said that recycled plastics must be toxic if they are not classified clearly. “According to relevant national regulations, waste plastics can be recycled, but there are strict technical requirements.” Yu Xingang, deputy director of Jilin Province Solid Waste Management Center, said, “For example, the waste water from plastic processing plants should have a simple sedimentation tank. If impurities permeate, the water above will enter the sewage treatment plant through the municipal pipeline.” In addition to the regulations on pollution, the state also has clear regulations on the application scope of recycled plastic products. Those that cannot be directly used for food contact can only be used for garbage bags, chairs and other products. However, in Guangfu Road, many vendors directly sell plastic bags made of recycled plastic to various vendors, and the people are not wary of this. In addition, due to the rough processing level, it is generally difficult for manufacturers to carefully distinguish polyethylene and toxic polychloride, and the particles produced by such mixing are undoubtedly toxic, and various plastic products made from it also become “toxic”. In this way, the toxic plastic bags can be identified. The toxic plastic bags are muddy or light yellow in color and sticky in hand, while the non-toxic plastic bags are milky white, translucent or colorless and transparent, with a sense of lubrication when touched; Put the plastic bag in the water and press it into the bottom. Due to different specific gravity, non-toxic plastic bags can surface and toxic plastic bags sink; The non-toxic polyethylene plastic bag is flammable, the flame is blue, and it drops like candle tears when burning, with a paraffin smell. The toxic PVC plastic bag is not flammable, and it will extinguish when it is away from the fire, emitting a pungent smell.

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