BOB EDWARDS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BOB EDWARDS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plastics recycling. Asian woman sorting plastic waste to separate out fragments made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). The PVC fragments are in baskets which have been removed from a barrel of water. Water is used to isolate PVC from a mixture of plastics because it sinks, unlike some other plastics which are lighter than water. The woman can also use the feel of the plastic, combined with her experience, to judge which fragments are made of PVC. Recycled PVC can be used to make new plastic items. The advantage of recycling is that PVC plastics release toxic chemicals if they are disposed of by being burnt or by being left in landfills. Photographed in Mumbai (Bombay), India.
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