Does this viral video show "rice" being made out of plastic sheets in a factory? No, that's not true: The sheets are not being used to make rice but to make plastic pellets.
The claim, which is accompanied by a video, has made the rounds online since at least 2017 (for example, see YouTube videos here and here), but also appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on October 23, 2019. The video showed workers feeding thin plastic sheets into a machine, which then cut the sheets into plastic bits that resembled rice. The caption of the post read:
They cause people get cancer from rice! 😡
This is what the post looked like on Facebook on September 13, 2021:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Sep 13 20:11:20 2021 UTC)
The video does not show the production of rice from plastic sheets. At the 0:48 mark of the video, there are open bags with the label "EVA" that are located at the end of the production line, as shown in the screenshot included below:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken at 0:48-mark on Mon Sep 13 17:39:45 2021 UTC)
EVA is an acronym for ethylene vinyl acetate, which is used as packaging material and surface protection, among other uses. An identical bag of this brand of EVA previously appeared on online retail websites such as Alibaba but can still be found on other websites. A screenshot of the EVA product featured in the video is included below:
(Source: Web Archive screenshot taken on Mon Sep 13 18:03:30 2021 UTC)
Images of EVA pellets show that some do appear very similar to the material produced at the end of the production line in the video:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken at 1:02-mark on Mon Sep 13 19:26:45 2021 UTC)
Similar claims about the production of plastic rice have circulated in various online videos since at least 2010, with rumors cropping up in China about real rice being mixed in with plastic rice. The rumors were also popular throughout several African countries in 2017.