Started in 1990, the Kodak single-use camera recycling program, works with photofinishing outlets to return used single-use cameras to Kodak sorting centers, where they are then routed for recycling. Nearly every piece of the camera is either recycled or reused in the ongoing production of more single-use cameras, bringing down costs for consumers and keeping huge amounts of waste out of landfills. Laid end-to-end, the 1.5 billion cameras would stretch 120,000 miles, which is enough to circle the earth five times or reach more than halfway to the moon.
Of the 1.5 billion, nearly 1 billion were Kodak single-use cameras. In the U.S., the rate of recycling rate for Kodak single-use cameras is 84%. That is up from 75 percent just a few years ago and is the highest rate of recycling of any consumer product in the U.S., handily beating the national recycling rates for items such as aluminum cans (52 percent) and consumer electronics (less than 20 percent).
With these increased recycling rates, it means that today most Kodak single-use cameras are produced from recycled camera bodies. “We’re excited to remain a leading champion of recycling in the U.S. and beyond with this program that is now in its 19th year,” said Joel Proegler, general manager, Film Capture and vice president, Film, Photofinishing & Entertainment Group. “Even in this digital age, there continues to be strong demand for single-use cameras, and we’re continuing to meet this demand in an environmentally responsible manner.”