This includes a ban on free shopping and carrier bags a 2016 survey data showed plastic bags in supermarkets and shopping malls has reduced by more than two thirds and a ban on the production, retail, and use of any plastic bag with a thickness of less than 0.025 mm. Chinese parents, who have children born outside the country's one-child policy, protest outside the family planning commission in an attempt to have their fines canceled in Beijing, on Jan. 5, 2016. On July 16 that year, as Beijing was gearing up to hold the Summer Olympics, Zhang flagged the sudden increase of infant cases to his hospital's dean, who then reported them to the local health. The problem The bike-sharing craze in China five years ago sucked in billions of dollars of investors' cash and clients' deposits that start-ups spent on millions of new bikes in an effort to grab market share. And according to an Associated Press investigation, it continues to impose stricter controls over births including forced sterilizations among ethnic minorities, like the Turkic Uyghurs. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, plastic consumption has soared, adding an extra 25,900 tonnes of plastics in the ocean thats equivalent to more than 2,000 double decker buses. Yet, have linked the Yangtze river as the one of the biggest sources of global plastic pollution, claiming the river to be responsible for more than half of all marine plastic pollution, but more recent studies found that the, Philippines accounts for more than one-third. Products. It followed reports in the Age last month that revealed thousands tonnes of soft. But starting in 2005, the authorities began enforcing the policy with a renewed ferocity in Linyi. Officials in her village were actively policing families under the one-child policy. A burning armoured personnel carrier on 4 June 1989, near Tiananmen Square. She is especially protective of him. The photographer-turned-director's debut documentary, 2011's Beijing Besieged by. Another factor that justifies adopting a broad interpretation of Plastic China is the wide range of social issues addressed by Wang. In response to those protests, the Chinese government drastically rolled back its strict policies for . In 2020 alone, China produced about 60 million tonnes of plastic waste, yet only 16 million tonnes of which was recycled, according to the China National Resources Recycling Association. The U.S., Japan and Germany are all at the top of the list when it comes to exporting their used plastic. "This was not your average level of policy enforcement. First, this narrow focus fails to do justice to the richness and complexity of Wangs second, cinema version of Plastic China, whichunlike the first version targeting the pressconstitutes a broad social commentary and critique. The people who had a stake in it did not welcome the shooting.. In sum, China's exercise of power has been more hard than soft. He was able to fly to the U.S. after weeks of tense negotiation. Lu says the harassment became so savage that elderly residents of Linyi became afraid to leave their homes out of fear they might be kidnapped. Welcome to Wang Jiuliang's Plastic China, a quiet, intimate look into the lives of two Chinese families barely scraping a living by laboring at a small family run recycling plant. This includes a ban on free shopping and carrier bags a. showed plastic bags in supermarkets and shopping malls has reduced by more than two thirds and a ban on the production, retail, and use of any plastic bag with a thickness of less than 0.025 mm. Bright-eyed children run between heaping piles of plastic, a worn-out worker spends his meager wages on alcohol, and a preteen girl gazes solemnly at Western product advertisements she picks out of the monstrous piles of trash around her home. For decades, China's family planning policy limited most urban couples to one child and rural couples to two if their first was a girl. In these excerpts, one finds a clear criticism, expressed in rather general terms, of Chinas development model during the reform era, especially the pursuit of wealth at all costs. hide caption. Following Pen and his daughter Yi Jie, under the watchful eye of boss Kun, this film shows the lives of those harmed most by severe social inequality. 0000003355 00000 n The doctors strangled or drowned those babies.". One first reason why Plastic China should be considered as a comprehensive reflection on the contemporary condition in China is that this is consistent with the directors intention. He rose to prominence a few years ago thanks to his first film, Beijing Besieged by Waste (laji weicheng, 2012), which revealed the existence of a great number of unauthorised and unmonitored dumpsites around Beijing. The new documentary 'Plastic China' plunges into the dirty side of recycling. But even there Johnson found numerous stories of families going to great lengths . China Says It Will Allow Couples to Have 3 Children, Up From 2 The move is the Communist Party's latest attempt to reverse declining birthrates and avert a population crisis, but experts say it. No one can afford that," she complains. The REDcycle program which was suspended in November and points at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets were closed. In the 1990s, he says, family planning officials ambushed him in his home at night and beat him with sticks in an effort to convince his wife to abort their third son. When his wife became pregnant again, he hoped for a son,. The brother of China's last emperor who was pushed off the throne more than 100 years ago has died. However, the films relevance extends far beyond the issue of waste management. Wang turned his focus to imported plastic, and after some digging, learned that it was being brought to a little town in the province of Shandong, along the coast. If Plastic Chinas message really boiled down to nothing more than a plea against waste imports and the pollution they cause, then the film would not be an obvious target for the Chinese censors. It forces us to re-examine our waste habits and confront the reality that every time we throw out our beloved Tim Hortons coffee cups, we are poisoning our environment at an alarming rate. Whats more, about 91% of all plastic that has ever been made is not recycled, meaning that plastic which can take up to 500 years to decompose keeps accumulating and degrading our natural environments. There, he was picked up by supporters and driven to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Anxious about already strained public education and health care systems, China's leadership is reportedly considering ditching limits entirely. https%3A%2F%2Fearth.org%2Fchina-plastic-pollution%2F. Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng attends a rally to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre June 4, 2019, at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Plastic China focuses on materially ambitious factory-owner Kun, his employee Peng, and their families. "There is only one China and there is only one one-child policy, so it is kind of impossible to say the real effect of that was [of the policy]," he says. Boss Kun and his workers separate plastics by burning samples and quickly sniffing the fumes, stimulating God only knows what kinds of cancers and brain damage. Yeah, in China you'll meet tons of people who had siblings born while the one-child policy was in effect. Medical staff massage babies at an infant care center in Yongquan, in Chongqing municipality, in southwest China, on Dec. 15, 2016. Ng Han Guan/AP 0000024672 00000 n Married couples in China in 2016, were allowed to have two children, after concerns over an aging population and shrinking workforce ushered in an end to the country's controversial one-child policy. Plastic pollution has long plagued China, along with severe air pollution. Director Jiu-liang Wang is one of the few documentary filmmakers in China to have taken on the government and won. The British colony simply. The weeklong meeting of the National People's Congress, which rubber stamps policies approved by the Communist Party leadership, provides a window into government priorities. But Chinas contribution to the global plastic crisis does not end there. Families were already having fewer children in the 1970s, before the policy took force in 1979. The Yangtze river, the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world, is an important water body in China. The film also resonated with the study of Chinas so-called informal recycling world that I conducted in the mid-2010s (Schulz 2018). Immediately afterwards, he embarked on a new project. "There was also rapid urbanization, economic growth, industrialization, female emancipation and more female labor force participation. The aspect of the film that most stuck with me personally was how Plastic China depicted the poor standard of waste management in rural China. Ontario. Andy Wong/AP It was followed very selectively. Editor's note: This story contains descriptions that may be disturbing. In other words, though it looks good exteriorly, it has a lot of interior problems (Kanthor 2017). 0000021210 00000 n Almost certainly, a proportion will have come from the homes, or more specifically the recycling bins, of Australia. what happened to the families in plastic china. If we do nothing and continue to turn our beautiful world into a Wall-E-esque nightmare, then the fate of our civilization will be suicide by garbage. He asks Wang Kun, his boss and the owner of the recycling workshop the Pengs work in, for a raise. There are clear signs that this space is shrinking nowadays, yet this does not stop many independent filmmakers from pursuing their mission (Berry 2017). She picks out broken Barbie dolls and passes over Western product labels, a seemingly deliberate shot for Wang to remind viewers of the vastly different worlds between the kids who tossed those toys away and the ones on the other side of the world who pick them out of the trash to play with. The global plastic pollution crisis continues to worsen every year. China is also by far the. CNN . They dont know how the United States really is, because all they have received is information from Chinese TV, which is made by the Ministry of Media, Wang said. "Despite all the overwhelming demographic evidence, they're saying, 'We need to control you,'" says the author, Fong. It is therefore not surprising that Plastic China is generally invoked, both within and outside of China, in connection with the global capitalist system that, for many years at least, allowed relatively rich countries to pass the burden of pollution on to China. Twenty-something Kun is a hard worker with a dream of buying a new car to boost his social status. During that time, imperial China was replaced by the Republic of China. SCn ` ]-3 endstream endobj 44 0 obj <>>> endobj 45 0 obj <>/Font<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageC]/Properties<>/XObject<>>>/Rotate 0/TrimBox[0.0 0.0 595.276 841.89]/Type/Page>> endobj 46 0 obj [47 0 R] endobj 47 0 obj <>/Border[0 0 0]/H/N/Rect[248.776 776.077 346.366 766.333]/Subtype/Link/Type/Annot>> endobj 48 0 obj <> endobj 49 0 obj <> endobj 50 0 obj <> endobj 51 0 obj <> endobj 52 0 obj <> endobj 53 0 obj <>stream Parents were not penalized for having twins, at least not according to the letter of the law. Much of the Western worlds waste was once bound for China. "The one-child policy was not the only thing that happened in China in the 1980s and 1990s," Gietel-Basten says. It was vicious," he says. Two of the more tragic examples - who were born identical twins and appear to be twinning themselves with duelling plastic surgeries - are French TV stars Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff. Chen, the lawyer, mounted a class action lawsuit on behalf of Linyi's women. What could the family planning officials have done to her? That same year, he expressed his intention to undertake a follow-up project on waste imports beyond plastics, which he tentatively titled Dumping Ground of the World (shijie de laji chang) (Liu 2014). China is also by far the largest source of mismanaged plastic waste, and is the biggest offender of ocean plastic pollution. If anything, there is considerable overlap between Wangs film and the foreign waste rhetoric that accompanies state authorities action in the field of transboundary movements of waste since the early 2010s, and predates the ban announced in July 2017. , where in 2019, it reportedly churned out about 5.3 million tonnes of plastics. Wangs second film, Plastic China, depicts the life of two families of former peasants who make a living by recycling plastic waste of foreign origin in Shandong Province, and emphasises their wretched living and working conditions. 0000010492 00000 n State media celebrated the news. August 4, 2020 1:46pm. All together, these measures are aligned with the countrys 2060 carbon neutrality targets. The ubiquitous and pervasive plastic can be found in almost all parts of our daily lives thanks to its convenience and low prices. And so, ironically, now that people are allowed to have more children, they are increasingly reluctant to, because of the high cost of child care and education. Children ride a toy train at a shopping mall in Beijing, on Oct. 30, 2015. The daughter of a young plastic factory worker, Yi Jie, looks over a heap of plastic while cradling her baby sibling. siQ6_{#WP(*K9-4GF(NTZ,GI2RV#PF"@(!9BI-$(E^D]ut(nK Jgu")( D)" Fred Dufour/AFP via Getty Images ! Wang recalled. of mismanaged plastic waste, and is the biggest offender of ocean plastic pollution. hb```"qVta1 FsD He used a pickax to drive them off and was imprisoned for that for half a year. China has been taking US plastic waste for three decades. Climate. {&L Q4t)o('aJ. After all, this type of message is consistent with recent official discourse and practice, which lay great emphasis on environmental protection, leadership in global trade, and national sovereignty. November 15, 2022. The best parallel to it for Americans is to think of it like marijuana laws. This has lead to a major shift in China, family is now seen as the 3 living generations . For decades, China has relied on superficial policies targeting plastic to reduce waste in the country. I saw the manager pointing to some of the garbage that was being sent out and saying, Those are going to China, and I said, what? It has been ten months since China closed its doors to the world's recycling waste. While more time is needed to analyse the bans impacts domestically, it has had rippling effects across global plastic pollution and management. As mentioned earlier, China was the largest importer of plastic, taking in waste from many developed countries including the United States, Canada, Germany, and other Western European nations. Plastic China focuses on materially ambitious factory-owner Kun, his employee Peng, and their families. 0000003791 00000 n Its river basin comprises one-fifth of the countrys land area, and supports and houses nearly one-third of the population. While the ban has potentially helped China reduce its domestic plastic pollution, it barely made a dent in reducing global waste and instead, shifted the responsibility to other poorer countries. Because many prioritized having a son over a daughter, orphanages experienced a surge in baby girls who were abandoned or put up for adoption. This prompted the Chinese government to introduce a raft of new laws and regulations to limit plastic waste in 2020, and announced a plan for 2021 to 2025 which aims to further improve the management of the entire chain of plastic pollution. Once again, though, Wang has a holistic way of tackling the issue, and his real concern is Chinas changing relationship to the land under capitalisma broad project if there ever was one. Back in the 1960s, more than 100 children - mostly abandoned, mostly babies and mostly girls - were brought over from Hong Kong to be adopted by British families. INVERSE 2023 BDG Media, Inc. All rights reserved. His descendants inherited his d. Its actually incredible that the film, which calls into question the Chinese governments devotion to environmentalism and the welfare of its people, actually made it out of the country. Lu says he paid a 4,000 yuan fine to have his second son in 2006 (about $500 at the time), after hiding his wife for months. Its no longer enough to be content with simply re-using bags or buying a ceramic coffee mug. Her son is part of the last generation of children in China whose births were ruled illegal at the time. Based on current rates, the countrys total population could reach up to 1.46 billion by 2028, resulting in even high amounts of waste. Priscilla Presley before and after (Source: Radar Online) Experts reckon that the 77-year-old has likely had cheek and lip fillers, skin resurfacing treatments, and a face-lift. "If you carry it with you all the time, it gets too tiring.". When the inevitable collapse came, most of the companies went bankrupt, leaving city authorities having to pay to clean up the mess. Plastic China (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ) is a 2016 Chinese documentary film depicting the lives of two families who make their living recycling plastic waste imported from developed countries. But some babies were alive when they were born and began crying. In 2012, Chen escaped by scaling a wall and running to the next village, despite being blind and having broken his foot during the escape. Its massive local plastic production further contributes to Chinas lion share of global greenhouse emissions mainly from coal production. 0000001204 00000 n Fish makes up the majority of diets for many people in China. Some of them were located in rural recycling hubs, but many were not. The young girl would love to visit the United States, but shed settle for going to school something her father, Peng, an alcoholic who works for the plant manager, has no interest in making happen. The mother of one of these middle schoolers holds her son close. The LEGO Foundation is awarding a total of DKK 900 million (approximately US$ 117 Million) to support organisations that make substantial contributions to the lives of children from birth to six years old and spark a global movement to prioritise early childhood development. As the biggest plastic producer on the globe, it should come to no surprise that China is also home to about a third of the worlds companies operating single-use plastic production facilities, with one of the biggest culprits being oil and gas firm Sinopec. For years, even social scientists have supported a widely held belief that Chinese . LINYI, China Outside, rain falls. :v9s];"vE\ j{G=vs=_qq/w?/uynBRBViW)42xP.itM"2HX SJXr/^$,^J_gHIum1$OL@*R*06T4W*[>ypNA-y6J]yPW6VV The limit in most cases was just one child. Image by: Our World in Data. , resulting in mounting plastic packaging. After recording only 213 deaths and about 13,000 cases of COVID-19 from January 2020 to early 2022, the city is swamped by the current Omicron wave, which began at the start of the year and has . She demurs, her voice growing quiet. 2014 and Persico 2010) and Zhao Liang (see Sorace 2017), among other leading Chinese independent filmmakers. 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