A volunteering prisoner dredges sewage and plastic waste from a drain with a metal bucket in the outskirts of Bangkok.
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A line of prisoners emerges from Bangkok's sewers covered in a thick film of slime and hauling buckets of sludge – front-line troops in the battle against a rising tide of plastic waste. Located just 50 centimeters above sea level and crisscrossed with canals, Thailand's throbbing capital has long had to fight off floods and an encroaching sea.Thailand's corrections authorities asked AFP not to identify any prisoners in return for access to their work program.In a recent report, an American conservation group Ocean Conservancy estimated that just five countries – China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand – were responsible for as much as 60 percent of plastic waste dumped into the ocean.Official figures show the 11,500 tons of garbage Bangkok produces each day – at least 1 ton of which is plastic – is growing by 10 percent a year. Officially only 16 percent is recycled – although non-governmental artisan recyclers would boost that figure.
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