The Clean Bin Project (2010) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The Clean Bin Project is about a regular couple and their quest to answer the question 'is it possible to live completely waste free?' Partners Jen and Grant go head to head in a comedic battle to see who can swear off consumerism and produce the least amount of garbage in an entire year. Their light-hearted competition is set against a compelling examination of the sobering problem of waste in our 'throw-away' society. Featuring interviews with renowned artist and TED lecturer, Chris Jordan and marine pollution expert, Captain Charles Moore, The Clean Bin Project presents the serious topic of waste reduction with optimism, humor, and inspiration for individual action.

  • Connecting consumption to waste, couple Grant Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer embark on a one year project with three parts: to not purchase any "stuff", namely any material goods, even to replace anything that breaks or wears out; to minimize waste that would go to the landfill, namely anything that cannot be composted, reused or recycled, with the ultimate goal of producing zero waste; and to take responsibility for any of their waste, which means taking anything they "produce" home to be composted, reused, recycled or thrown into the garbage to go to the landfill. Because of their nature as people, they decide to make this project a competition, the criteria being the amount of waste each produces both by weight and by volume, and how each judges the other overall in embracing the spirit of the project. As a self-employed musician, Grant receives a work exemption to purchase anything required for work so as not to impact negatively his economic earning, this exemption which may be a bone of contention between the two as the year progresses. In whatever shopping they do do for things like food, they will have to readjust their mentality to avoid anything prepackaged, especially if that packaging will ultimately end up in the landfill category. They speak to experts in how best to make the necessary changes in their day-to-day lives. They speak to people involved in waste management, most specifically at the municipal level. They review the entire issuing of packaging and how it has changed over the years. They talk to artist Chris Jordan who looks at the entire issue of waste from a different perspective in order to make people more aware. They bring up the issue in a holistic sense at Christmas, when much extra waste is produced in the spirit of the season. They review the economics of the waste business. And they speak to Charles Moore about the amount of waste in the oceans and the effect it is having on wildlife.



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