FSSAI has refuted the claims of plastic rice. The videos originally shows the plastic granulation process in Korea based company named Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. Ltd.
A video allegedly showing a rice mill where plastic sheets converted to create artificial plastic rice is circulating on social media. The users sharing the video claim that the video shows a plastic rice-producing factory. We can see a man putting plastic sheets from one end of the machine, which turns these sheets to small plastic pellets shaped like rice grains. The text burnt inside the video mentions “Making of plastic rice, be careful before you buy rice”
The caption of the video mentions, ‘Plastic Rice production industry.’
We started our investigation by breaking the video into small key frames with the help of InVid We Verify tool and ran a Google reverse search on the same. We found an article on this video published on a Chinese news website named ‘Xinhuanet.com’. The website reported that the video shows a plastic granulation process in a plastic manufacturing company. The website states that such manufacturing companies produce such re cycled plastic raw plastic granules, which are used to cushion objects that are fragile during transportation and storage.
We found a better quality of this video on YouTube published in 2017 where we could see the bags of the plastic granules with “EVA” written on them.
Upon a key word search, we found that Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is one of the plastic granule products manufactured by plastic industries. Next, we searched for these bags of EVA on Google, which led us to an e-commerce website who was selling the same looking plastic granules.
Upon observing the bags of these plastic granule bags, we could see the logo of Hanwha Total Petrochemical Company Limited. Below you can see a comparison image between the granule bag available on the e-commerce website and the viral video.
We found that the Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. Ltd is a South Korea based chemical company. The website contains the details of the EVA plastic granule production on their website of Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. Ltd. nowhere does this website mention that these plastic granules are sold as plastic rice.
With another key word search, we found that Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has ruled out plastic rice under their myth busters section. The website mentions “It is the natural phenomenon of rice to burn since it is a complex carbohydrate and since rice is 80% starch, it has cohesive and adhesive properties and when the rice is cooked and transformed into ball, the air gets entrapped & becomes bouncy like a ball. Thus, it should be ruled out that the rice contain plastic.”
We also found news reports on Nigeria Customs officers seizing 102 rice bags weighing 25 kgs each in 2016. These bags were claimed to contain plastic rice. Later on, the Nigerian Government clarified that the bags did not contain plastic rice. Several media organisations such as BBC reports “plastic rice” as a myth.
Conclusion-Fact Crescendo found the viral video on social media to be false. The viral video on social media does not show the production of plastic rice instead it shows the plastic granulation process in Korea based company named Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. Ltd. These plastic manufacturing companies produce plastic granules that is used as cushions for fragile objects during transportation and storage.
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Title:Video of manufacturing process of plastic granules shared as production of plastic riceFact Check By: Aavya Ray