30 MAY 2022

ZDF Studios unveil new documentary “The History of Trash”

ZDF Studios launched a brand new documentary covering a very contemporary topic, “The History of Trash,” a film which offers a glimpse into the landfills and cesspits of history and finds that recycling is almost as old as mankind itself.

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ZDF Studios launched a brand new documentary covering a very contemporary topic, “The History of Trash” (1x43’), a film which offers a glimpse into the landfills and cesspits of history and finds that recycling is almost as old as mankind itself. Produced by IFAGE-Filmproduktion and commissioned by ZDF’s Terra X, “The History of Trash” reveals many astonishing stories beginning with the early Stone Age. Waste has existed since humans appeared on the scene. Once we started to walk upright, our hands were suddenly free to make tools, but also to drop or deliberately throw things away.

“With waste being one of the most important issues that we currently face, this documentary is very timely and will engage audiences young and old. We look forward to presenting the film to our clients at NEM,”  commented Ralf Rueckauer, Vice President Unscripted at ZDF Studios.

At the start of human history, waste disposal was still very minimal: the things we produced with such effort were too valuable to simply throw away. From waste stone to broken bone needles – we reused things as much as possible, as archaeological findings have revealed. Nevertheless, today, archaeologists in particular are interested in the things we have thrown away. For example, the relics left behind by the Danish Ertebølle culture, whose members made their homes on huge mountains of mussel shells, show that mankind's relationship to garbage was initially quite informal.

With the onset of urban living waste and faeces became a problem. The film reveals the logistical challenges that were faced in Roman times and the Middle Ages and how London's sewers, built between 1859 and 1865, are still considered a great feat of urban infrastructure development today.

With waste being one of the most important issues that we currently face, this documentary is very timely and will engage audiences young and old” Ralf Rueckauer Vice President Unscripted at ZDF Studios