Expensive rubbish this

New York, September 18 :

If the package looks pretty, people will buy just about anything. So says an advertising executive in New York, and he has proved his point by selling boxes of rubbish for the price of an expensive bottle of wine.

Justin Gignac, 26, has offloaded 900 carefully presented plastic cubes of trash from the streets of the Big Apple at between $50 and $100 each. Buyers from 19 countries have paid for the souvenirs. The idea has been so successful that he is thinking of franchising it around the world.

It all began when Gignac was on a summer internship at MTV. “We had a discussion about the importance of packaging,’’ he recalls. “Someone said packaging was unimportant. The only way to prove it was by selling something nobody would ever want.’’

He scours the streets of Manhattan and New York’s outer boroughs, typical contents include broken glass, subway tickets, Starbucks cups and used plastic forks. “Special editions’’ are offered at a premium.