Throwing it all away



Today, waste reduction is a high profile issue for high profile people. Politicians in suits deliver soundbites. academics publish papers. boffins in white coats search for new solutions.

On the streets of Barcelona a scruffy old man with his scruffy old bike sharpens scruffy old knives. his out of work son looks embarrassed to be lending a hand, and depressed at the meagre takings to be split two ways. A Homeless Senegalese pushes his trolley, scavenging scrap metal and unwanted TVs, as tourists quicken their pace to avoid his path. Every night, a young girl walks the alleys of the old town picking up the furniture others dump on the street. She’ll repair it, restyle it and give it a whole new life to sell in a little garage which she opens onto the street. An unemployed middle aged man turns empty beer cans into trendy ashtrays until the police get aggressive, destroy his work and move him on. For these people “recycling” isn’t a research program or a vote winner, it’s just a way to get by.

“Throwing it all away” is a documentary following the day to day struggles of these unlikely environmentalists. life can be hard, unreliable, and at times just plain odd.Some of society’s more upwardly mobile might think that it’s these people themselves who are past their sell by dates, but in a world of dwindling resources and zero hours economies, perhaps it’s our own throw away society that begins to look out of date.