The Clean Bin Project is a documentary made by Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer, a couple who live in Vancouver, British Columbia. The premise of the film is to see if it’s possible for them to live waste-free for an entire year.
Overall, I found The Clean Bin Project to be a fascinating film. Grant and Jen are a likeable couple and their thought-provoking and oftentimes humourous adventures are punctuated by interviews with some notable people: Captain Charles Moore, who researches plastic in the oceans, and Chris Jordan, artist and activist, whose work depicting consumption is stunning, both in its artistic beauty, as well as in its mind-boggling and horrific scope.
There’s also a must-see time-lapse deconstruction of the packaging of a Barbie doll from the 50s versus a Barbie doll from today, which provides fascinating fodder for anyone who’s concerned about (okay, rails about) the little bits of plastic crap that seep into and litter our children’s lives from seemingly every direction. And the Christmas scene was especially significant for our family (smiles all around, and several utterances of, Well, will you look at that! Those cloth gift bags are just like ours!).
I don’t want to spoil the ending, so I’ll just say this: Grant and Jen take an action at the end of the film that felt — to me, at least — utterly and completely wrong. But because it’s an action that’s undertaken by each and every one of us on a weekly basis — albeit through a middleman — the only thing I can conclude is that they entirely succeeded in proving an essential and uncomfortable truth about waste. (Although the fact that I’m their “choir” is certainly a point I will concede!)