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does anyone have any idea if there is a way to recycle plastic film canisters? I have a hefty bag full of them.

I recall once hearing about a medical NGO using them to distribute pills.
The recreational pharmacists are mostly using those plastic cubes these days.

There’s got to be a better way than just tossing hundreds or thousands of these things each year.

by teru kuwayama at 2005-03-21 13:39:55 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Brooklyn/East Side , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I have always just tossed them in with the rest of the recycling, are we not supposed to do this in NYC?

I also break down the little cardboard film boxes and place those in with the paper recycling.

Are these both not permitted?

by [former member] | 21 Mar 2005 14:03 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Both the black Ilford, and clear Kodak film canisters are graded #2 plastic. It’s molded into the bottoms. Most municipalities, including NYC, recycle grades #1 and #2. As for recycling for a specific purpose, I’ve only seen them used by backpackers to carry around spices and various “herbs”.

Maybe you could sell them to Patagonia and they can make some kind of limited edition, world traveled, recycled film canister, fleece vest. At $400 a unit they would probably sell like hotcakes to the outdoorsy, trust-fund crowd.

by Jethro Soudant | 21 Mar 2005 14:03 | Buffalo, NY, United States | | Report spam→
hey, you might want to look at this site: http://www.recycline.com

i know they recycle yogurt cups and make them into razors and i think tooh brushes,but that’s a diffrent grade of plastic, however they also make something called plastic wood so that night work for you, anyway, drop them a line…..now if you can do something about this hangover i have i’d welcome any suggestions. perhaps we can talk about it over beers?

by [former member] | 21 Mar 2005 16:03 | nyc, United States | | Report spam→
My bad — is NYC recycling again? Was I away, or did I just space out?
Jake, are you also having this problem with short term memory loss and poor concentration?

by teru kuwayama | 21 Mar 2005 16:03 | Brooklyn/East Side, United States | | Report spam→
i find that this concentration thing gets better with each pint. if you just put your mind to it, you’ll see you can acomplish anything.

by [former member] | 21 Mar 2005 16:03 | nyc, United States | | Report spam→
Yes, NYC is recycling but it seems they have no interest in our film canister collections:

check the second paragraph:


if you have fuji canisters you can squeeze them and the top shoots off.

by [former member] | 21 Mar 2005 16:03 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Good eyes, Michael —

“The only plastics accepted for recycling in New York City are bottles & jugs (with necks smaller than their bodies) that are stamped on the bottom with codes. All other plastic containers and all other plastic items should be placed in the regular trash – even if they are labeled PETE or HDPE. Current technology does not enable processors to sort plastics according to their codes: requiring workers to inspect the bottom of each container for its code as it moves along the conveyor belt would be inefficient and extremely costly.”

so, looks like we’re back at square one.
Jethro, how’s it looking for those recycled-canister fleece vests? perhaps it could be marketed as some kind of flotation device? or perhaps, we could develop a system of single-serving beer shots? Jake, can you look into this?

by teru kuwayama | 21 Mar 2005 16:03 | Brooklyn/East Side, United States | | Report spam→
If my science is correct, the containers filled with single serving beer shots should probably float as well. Unless it’s Guinness of course. It might be a hard sell to get Coast guard approval though. I wonder how many film container shots of beer it would take to get a tasty buzz on. Jake?

Or, you could simply hold onto them til they gain “vintage” status and ebay them like this crafty entrepeneur http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=711&item=7501053815&rd=1

Might make for a nice retirement nest egg.

by Jethro Soudant | 22 Mar 2005 08:03 | Buffalo, NY, United States | | Report spam→
One time I used a plastic film container to receive sand blessed by a Tibetan Buddhist monk who made a sand mandala at the Asian Society in New York. Then of course I forgot I had it in my bag, and popped it open on my next job, just as I entered a real sad jail in Tennessee, spilling multi-colored sand on the floor. The guards looked at me weird, and all the more so when I suggested that their jail had just been blessed by a Tibetan Buddhist monk.

by [former member] | 22 Mar 2005 18:03 (ed. Mar 22 2005) | bogota, Colombia | | Report spam→
Hm. Cool question. Right now my 2-year old kid plays with them, and he is very inventive, integrating them into lego and tinkertoy superstructures. I think they would make excellent toy boat ballast.

Here’s a tip though: before you do a shoot, take thin tabs of gaffer, duct or electrical tape (I use athletic tape which can be peeled off in half-width strips) and tape the canister top to the canister, leaving one side open. Then when you are shooting hot and fast, pop it open and switch out a fresh roll with your spent round quickly without empty canisters and tops dropping all over the place.

For empty canisters: theres gotta be something better than the good old antacid-water mini-rocket…

Here are some …er, thrifty ideas: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf734836.tip.html

by Andrew Kornylak | 23 Mar 2005 08:03 | Georgia, United States | | Report spam→
i like the toothbrush-holder idea from andrew’s link. me, i use a couple of them for holding foreign coins, but worthwhile only for things like uk pounds and for euros, not much good for pesos etc b/c they’re of course worth only fractions of a cent so i don’t save those. and my roommate uses a few for mixing paints, but ok maybe that takes care of 15 canisters at most and when you’re talking about hundreds . . . i always feel silly throwing them away, but given the options (carrying my low-fat creamer or salad dressing to the restaurant with me, as someone in the thriftyfun link does, umm, doesn’t tempt me so much and even if i had low-fat creamer or salad dressing i sure wouldn’t trust the cannister not to pop open in my bag, like stephen spilling sand in the tennessee jail, you’d have low-fat creamer all over yr gear!). i’ve got too much stuff in this small nyc apartment as it is, but if anyone finds some environmentally responsible solution, i’m all for it. the most common use i’ve seen for them, outside of holding film itself, was in high school when we used them to carry our pot. and of course—-squeeze the sides and the top pops off—-i also terrorize (good-naturedly) my dog with them . . . .

by [former member] | 23 Mar 2005 10:03 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
How about mailing containers for very, very small inkjet prints. What a great promo piece.

by Andrew Kornylak | 23 Mar 2005 12:03 | Georgia, United States | | Report spam→
OK. this has been extremely entertaining, and spiritually enriching (thanks, Stephen) but we’ve still got a lot of plastic canisters to deal with.

One thought, maybe we can convince the film makers to bulk package film, without the canisters and boxes.
For me, and I’m guessing for many others, I usually buy film before I head out on a trip — usually it’s somewhere between 20 and 100 rolls of film, and then I immediately strip the film out of the boxes and canisters, and repack them in clear ziplock bags to run past the security check at the airports. I end up with one garbage bag full of totally unused plastic tubes, and one bag full of totally unused cardboard boxes.

If fuji, kodak, agfa, etc would package their film in clear, factory-sealed, shrink-wrapped bags of 20, it would save them and us the packing and unpacking, and eliminate a lot of totally excessive packaging waste. This would also save a lot of time for us and the security screeners at the airports, since their regulations seem to indicate that they can swab an entire package at once (for explosives residue), as long as it’s factory sealed.

I remember I used to be able to buy Tri-X in 50 roll “pro-packs”, which still had plastic canisters, but at least eliminated the individual paper boxes.
Considering that film is increasingly a “professional” item, and more and more of the one-roll-of-film-at-a-time market is using digital cameras, I’d think this system would work out well for everyone.

So the next question is — does anyone know reps from film companies?

I will pass this message on to contacts at American Photo and PDN — hopefully they can pass the message on — but if anyone has direct links, let’s hook it up.

by teru kuwayama | 23 Mar 2005 15:03 (ed. Mar 23 2005) | Brooklyn/East Side, United States | | Report spam→
hey, ilford is using foil for their black and white. because i got them at bandh i could buy 3200 in 5 packs and i think the hp5 was in a 50 pack, so i’m not sure if this is a grey market thing, or bandh repackaging them in plastic, but regardless ilford is doing it and it’s out there. …did you ever manage to cntact that recycling site i gave you, they might take them….of course i’ve been busy peddling the idea of fuji beer shots to the local bars here and no luck, however isn’t it time that we started having bars in camera stores just as there starfucks in barnes and noble? i think it might go over very well at bandh.

by [former member] | 25 Mar 2005 14:03 | nyc, United States | | Report spam→
heya Jake. I checked out that website — it’s basically a green company that makes a few specific products — razors and toothbrushes. they don’t really collect recycling materials, other than their own stuff.

the ilford system sounds good, it’s halfway there — but I think the idea of bulk packing film in clear plastic (not foil) would solve a lot of problems (especially with the airports), so still something to pursue. American Photo says they’ll bring it up at the next PDMA meeting.

by teru kuwayama | 26 Mar 2005 14:03 | Brooklyn/East Side, United States | | Report spam→
Not incredibly useful either

by [former member] | 31 Jul 2005 10:07 | Baghdad, Iraq | | Report spam→
I saw a great light display here in China. Someone got some strands of Christmas lights, and fastened Fuji (the clear ones) film canisters onto each light. Looked great as a kinda chandelier.

by [former member] | 31 Jul 2005 11:07 | Mainland, China | | Report spam→

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teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States
Jethro Soudant, Photographer Jethro Soudant
Buffalo, Ny , United States
Andrew Kornylak, Freelance Photographer Andrew Kornylak
Freelance Photographer
Atlanta , Georgia


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