Minyang Liu

Department: Information Design

Plastic Town

What: A documentary uncovering the reality of recycling in China’s waste processing capital Wen’an. Following the country’s ban on imported waste, it has transitioned from boomtown to a city in collapse.

Why: For decades, China was the world’s largest importer of waste. The town of Wen’an processed millions of tonnes of waste plastics, but the ban changed everything.

How: Minyang Liu visited Wen’an to see how locals are dealing with the ban and to understand what waste recycling really entails. She discovered that the story of recycling is incredibly complex, and not necessarily eco-friendly. There are many opposing interests, on multiple levels: human, environmental, political and financial.

“Recycling is also an industry”

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Nicole Marnati