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'The odour of burning wakes us': inside the Philippines' Plastic City

In Valenzuela City, residents blame recycling plants for pungent smells and respiratory illnesses

As noon approaches in Valenzuela City and residents prepare to have their lunch, a pungent smell of melted plastic swirls through the air, killing everyone’s appetite.

“It gets suffocating in the evening. We have to close our windows despite the heat and bury our noses under our blankets when we sleep,” says Rosalie Esplana, 40.

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