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Men sorting plastic waste to separate out PVC

Men sorting plastic waste to separate out PVC

T820/0247

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Credit

BOB EDWARDS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BOB EDWARDS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Plastics recycling. Asian men sorting plastic waste to separate out fragments made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). The sorting is done by placing mixed plastic fragments in a barrel of water. Water is used to isolate PVC because it sinks, unlike some other plastics which float. The workers can also use the feel of the plastic, combined with their 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 landfill waste dumps. Photographed in Mumbai (Bombay), India.

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