The character of the ragpicker runs through Jacques Tati's film to build up an episodic series of gags. At the beginning of the film, the ragpicker, having filled his cart, goes off to deliver his collection to the "Plastac" plant which manufactures plastic pipes. Then Hulot gets himself taken on at the plant and, out of clumsiness, ruins part of the production. The ragpicker is then called to clear away the resulting rejects from the plant. There then follows a hilarious quest for the best way to get rid of this plastic waste which they did not then know how to recycle.
Dating from 1958, the film, which sets the "old-world" way of life against the modern world, points a visionary finger at the issue of managing the waste generated by our consumer society.