People are more and more conscious of the plastic waste that humans are generating. Accumulated amounts of it are the source material for new products but in between, there are recycling processes that are being operated by people.
In Vilnius, Lithuania is one of the biggest plastic recycling factories in the EU that also has over 50 years of long production history. The facility contains in itself the Soviet past with a few remaining workers who are have been there since the very start. With the independence of the country, there came ownership changes in the facility and at the same time optimisation of the production. But noisy, smelly and dusty conditions are tuned up with make-shift imagination for old and even for new machinery. The constant need for a labour force that would take 12-hour shifts in production lines attracts people from very different walks of life: from social margins to top managers who wanted to change their carriers and they came into the recycling business.
Low salary and hard conditions in the recycling process lines are also a bridge of opportunities for cheaper labour force from Ukraine that is coming for three month period with the hope to extend their work permits.
High consumption generates high quantities of plastic waste but to run the factory 24×7 it is required to import plastic waste from other countries in the region. And the majority of recycled products are being sold back to the EU countries and beyond.
The high paced recycling processes were examined with photographic „waste“ material – a slow-speed outdated film in order to recycle it for a new life.