Underground Factory Makes Beverage Bottles from Plastic Waste

August 3, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: August 3, 2006 12:00 am

An underground processing factory in Southwestern China produces beverage bottles from plastic waste, according to a report from Western China Metropolis Daily .

With the help of an insider, a reporter from Western China Metropolis Daily secretly visited the underground factory Bai Si De, located in Junyue town of Pengzhou City in Sichuan Province.

In the yard of the factory, the reporter saw huge piles of dirty plastic waste all over the place. The used plastic bottles and bags that had not been cleaned were stinking in the heat of the Sun. Workers of the factory told the reporter that the plastic waste was purchased from garbage collectors at an extremely low price.

In the factory, the reporter observed the whole process of production. After a rough cleaning, the waste plastics were machine-shredded into granules which were rinsed and left to dry in the air. The granules were then melted and poured into molds, and the bottles were formed. The bottles thus made out of dirty waste plastics were mostly sold in secret to small beverage factories.

The head of the factory admitted that it was illegal to use recycled plastic in beverage bottle manufacturing. But he still chose this business for profit even in a competitive market as Chengdu City.

A plastic product wholesaler revealed to the reporter that most of the products he had sold were made of recycled plastic, so were many plastic containers available in the market. The low sale price, resulting from the low manufacturing cost, has attracted more and more innocent customers, and therefore the illegal plastic recycling business has been growing quickly.

According to the chief of Sichuan Food Quality Inspection Station, recycled plastics can be used in the packaging of agricultural products or other non-food products, but it is illegal to use it for food packaging, tableware, and food container. During recycling process, the polyvinyl chloride contained in waste plastic is transformed into hydrogen chloride, or hydrochloric acid during the manufacturing process. When recycled plastic makes contact with warm or hot water, it releases many harmful substances, some of which may cause cancer.

The former public prosecutor of Anhui Province, Mr. Shen Liangqing, believes that the trend of massive illegal production roots deeply in Chinese society. It takes a systematic work on the whole society to restrain such illegal businesses. Shen says that the actual cause of illegal manufacturing beverage bottle is that the standards of moral conduct have been corrupted throughout the country. There is no way to stop it, Shen said, if there is no improvement in China's social morality level.

The renowned news commentator, Mr. Chen Pokong, pointed out the nature of the trend of counterfeiting and illegal production in China, “It is the vicious hearts, more than the poisonous products, that hurt most. The low morality level in China is an inevitable product of China's political system. After fifty years of systematic and calculated devastation, the Chinese Communist Party has completely ruined the idea of morality. Chinese political system is a system that refuses transparency and supervision, protects illegal merchandises, and spawns corruption. China now is a heaven for corruption and poisonous products. It is doubtless that things will be only worse if China's political system remains the same.”