Description: Newspaper articles on Prince William’s grand wedding is the magic cape for the kids eye patches from the Qantas Airways is the protection mask for the workers a Dutch SIM card brings in a message of “Welcome to China” once inserted to a cell phone. Welcome to the land of “Plastic China.” As the world’s biggest plastic waste importer, China receives ten million tons per year from most of the developed countries around the world. With high external costs impacting the local environment and health, these imports are reborn here in these plastic workshops into “recycled” raw materials for the appetite of China - the world factory. This waste is then exported back to where they came from with a new face such as manufactured clothing or toys.
PLASTIC CHINA’s main character Yi-Jie is an unschooled 11-year-old girl whose family works and lives in a typical plastic waste household-recycling workshop. As much as her life is poor and distorted, she’s a truly global child who learns the outside world from the waste workshop that her family lives in and works in - also known as the “United Nations of Plastic Wastes.” She lives her happiness and sorrows amongst the waste,, as well. Small packs of discarded instant black powder tells her the bitter taste of “coffee” the English children’s learning cards teach her words like “summer” and “father’s day” and brokenBarbie dolls are her best friends to talk to. This is her world.