As in all industries right now, sustainability is something that we should all be striving for. We’re always looking for ways to improve our sustainability credentials but one way that everyone in the film photography world can make a difference is by upgrading from a disposable camera.
There’s no denying that a disposable camera can be great fun from time to time, but if you’re taking photos on a regular basis or want to take better quality photos, then ditch the disposable and pick up a point and shoot camera. If you do a bit of searching you can pick up something decent cheaply from your local charity shops, Depop, or from independent camera shops such as our friends at West Yorkshire Cameras, or Loaf Cameras.
Why are disposable cameras so bad?
They’re hard to recycle
Most components of a disposable camera are recyclable but due to them being hard to separate out, a lot of waste disposal and recycling companies refuse to take them. It’s an unfortunate fact but a lot of disposable cameras still end up in landfill.
Single use items use up valuable resources
Like all single use items, disposable cameras take up lots of resources and energy through their production and distribution journey. By switching to a reusable point and shoot camera, you will drastically reducing the environmental impact your film photography hobby is having.
Making your disposable camera count
If you are going to use a disposable camera, here are a few tips to make sure you don’t waste your roll of film.
Use all of the photos
It sounds like an obvious thing to say but we receive a lot of disposable cameras that haven’t been used up. If we receive any disposable cameras with photos left to take, we will always use them here at the lab ( you can see some of the results here) but we’d always rather you use them all.Put the flash on
Avoid disappointment by remembering to always use a flash if you’re taking any photos inside. It may look bright but trust us, if you don’t use the flash your picture isn’t coming out. We regularly receive batches of disposables from weddings, birthdays, and other events where half the images have been lost due to people not turning on the flash.
Keep them dry
Disposables are often used at festivals, when you go camping, or at parties which means they are more likely to end up getting drinks spilled on them or caught in a downpour. We've even had people send in cameras that have been dropped in a river. If your film turns up to the lab wet (or worse, sticky) we won’t be able to put it through our developer and we'll have to return your roll of film to you undeveloped.
If you're looking to make the switch from a disposable camera but you're unsure of where to start, you can always drop us a message or pop in to the lab and we'll be happy to help point you in the right direction.
The Disposable Directory
We're documenting each type of disposable that gets sent in to the lab. Head over to see our directory which aims to showcase the beauty in the mundanity of these throw away items, as well as highlighting the volume of waste they create.