Kids from the iPhone generation have turned to film.
As concerns about global warming continue to rise, more and more people are considering their carbon footprint and the amount of waste they send to landfill. With film photos covering every square of your Instagram feed, disposable cameras have taken centre stage. But your fun-loving, single-use friend is made of plastic, and it’s destroying our earth.
When you’ve finished using your disposable camera, the film is removed and the camera body is disposed of, taking up to one thousand years to decompose. The triple A batteries inside are virtually unused, only powering the flash for the short lifespan of the camera. The batteries make their way into landfill, slowly corroding and leaching chemicals into our soil.
Despite this, some disposable cameras are said to be recyclable, so that various pieces can be reused. The camera itself goes through an elaborate automated production line, where machines remove the labels and pass the naked unit to be opened and pulled apart. The energy alone used to power this extensive process contributes to our carbon footprint and subsequently global warming.
Meanwhile, traditional film cameras are not disposed of when you finish shooting a roll. The film is wound back into the canister, and you hand over the roll, taking the body of the camera home with you. Instead of being taken to landfill, film cameras are collectors items that find new homes and owners: a much more sustainable method of photography. Did we mention it costs less too? Once you have your own point and shoot there’s no need to re-purchase a new disposable camera each week. Many processing labs will provide you with a free roll of film in place of the one you’re handing in to be developed. In the long run, buying your own point and shoot is more affordable, and much less harmful to our beautiful earth.