SUPPLIERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
While film and video production is a big booming business, there
are relatively few companies that produce the lion's share of the
supplies that go into film production. While it would be impossible
to launch a production without supporting these corporations, ft
might be of some interest to explore the nature of these companies
to see who your bedfellows will be.
and video production is a big booming business, there are relatively
few companies that produce the lion's share of the supplies that
go into film production. While it would be impossible to launch
a production without supporting these corporations, ft might be
of some interest to explore the nature of these companies to see
who your bedfellows will be.
WE PHONED EACH OF THE COMPANIES discussed below and asked them what
their environmental policies were. While this is only the first
step in exploring low impact options in the film world, the expression
of concern for these issues will bring about corporate response.
Most of the reports we received speak of company-wide efforts to
reduce solvent waste, and some companies report reductions of up
to 90% in the last 20 years. They are also dealing with air emissions,
ozone chemicals, PCB's, and underground tanks and piping. Of additional
concern is paper and material recycling within their own company,
AGFA offered us a single sheet explanation of their
recycling initiative, directed at photofinishers.
AMPEX: When we called Ampex, the environmental
director there said he had never heard from a customer, and was
excited that there was interest being expressed on the retail level.
They had little material prepared for the consumer, however.
EASTMAN KODAK is a large multi-national corporation
which is engaged in research and development not only of photographic
supplies, but other chemical-based materials. Kodak provides an
extensive package and has a full time environmental advisor. They
are the world's largest producer of the plastic used for soft drink
terephthalate, or PET).
have researched and encouraged recycling of PET plastics, and through
a process, called methanolysis, have converted PET bottles back
to the original chemical building blocks, allowing hew bottles to
be made from old ones. This is remarkable, because current plastic
recycling technology only generates interior material. While this
process is in the experimental stage, it reflects the extent to
which Kodak is involved in plastic technologies.
FUJI has extensive literature directed at worker
safety in handling and working with chemicals and environmental
laws. They have won awards in Japan for a number of their programs,
including their packaging being made from recycled cardboard. Their
brochures promise to introduce these programs into U.S. and Europe
3M CORPORATION, makers of audio recording tape,
office supplies, and pharmaceutical products, have an extensive
environmental package. In 1975 they initiated the "3P"
program ("Pollution Prevention Pays"), which was a several-point
plan to improve the company's environmental policy. The major thrust
of their program has been to reduce pollution at the source, rather
than focus on cleanup. They stress the good business sense of their
efforts, and report a saving of $500 million since the program was
POLAROID is a Massachusetts based company that
makes "instant imaging" products. They publish an environmental
report that focuses on company-wide efforts to recycle, reduce air
and solvent emissions, and improve the environmental impact of their
SUMMARY: Most of these companies clearly have environmental
programs at the corporate level. In many cases they are responding
to environmental regulations; in other cases they are pursuing good
business by conserving resources. At the retail level-and the recycling
level, however, it seems that few programs are actually being implemented.
Call these companies, and express interest in their policies. Say
you would like to see more done on the retail level, with packaging
and with programs that help individual labs reclaim resources, and
recycle materials. Ask your labs and photo stores if they are participating
in the programs that do exist. Your inquiries will let companies
know the consumer expects more from them.