Styrofoam Collector

Guo Jie is one of the estimated 277 million rural migrant workers in China. In Shanghai Guo Jie buys and collects styrofoam boxes from markets selling fresh produce. She takes them to a seafood wholesale market where she resells them to wholesalers who will store fish in the boxes. She does one round trip a day, piling as much styrofoam on her bike as possible so she doesn’t have to go back and forth. The stallholders at the market all know her and save their styrofoam for her visits. We first met Guo Jie when she was getting a parking ticket for her bike.

This is a film I shot as part of a personal series of short documentary's on the topic of work in China. Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's composed the music. It was part of the official selection of AFI DOCS festival. You can see other films from the series at