Super 8 Cartridges

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by craig_shearman|1, May 4, 2016.

  1. When Super 8 was popular, did Kodak or the labs have any program for recycling the cartridges?

    The Super 8 cartridge was not intended to be reloadable and I'm not sure how you could open it without breaking it let alone put it back together. But it was a fairly good size piece of plastic and a couple of parts inside that seems like it would have been a lot to just throw away.

    For that matter, did labs pop the cartirdge apart to remove the film for processing, or did they pull it out from the opening?
  2. Interesting question. That was before recycling was popular, so maybe not. Note that Super 8 superseded regular 8, which came on a metal spool. At least I think I remember metal spools for them, maybe plastic later, like everything else.
    Even if you don't reuse it, though, you can recycle the plastic, and they might have done that.
    Same question for 126 and 110 cartridges. I know both of those break when opening, so aren't really reusable. (That is, not factory reusable.)
  3. Kodak identified a plasic recycler. This firm sent pre-labled boxes to photofinishers. We used these boxes to store film cartridges from 126, 110, Super 8 and other simialr products. The plastic firm who’s name I have forgoten, sent a check based on the weight or the returned plastic. At that time I was Technical Manager for Eckerd Drugs Photofinishing. We operated 7 giant photofinishing labs, each sized to process 20,000 rolls of film per day. The revenue from the recycled plastic was small. We were told the recylceled plastic was reborn as automobile bumpers.
  4. Plastic recyclers are better now at reusing plastics for a similar type of material.
    And it is supposed to be that much of disposable cameras get reused as another camera.
    I don't know any details on which parts are used only once, though.
  5. The super-8 cartridge was recycled even though it was a little tougher than 126 and 110 cartridges. It had a metal spring that held the pressure plate. It was necessary to break open the cartridge and remove the spring before putting the rest in the grinder.
    Kodak recycled every possible substance from waste streams. The little pieces of film that were punched out to make perforations were first sent to silver recovery and then to acetate recovery. Nearly all of the solvents used to make film base were recovered. Couplers were recovered from Kodachrome developers. Silver was recovered from fixers. Bleaches were regenerated. Kodak had an active paper recycling effort in the 70s.
  6. Thanks for the responses. Would have been interesting if they had made them reloadable, not necessarily by users but on an industrial basis back at the factory. But I'm sure they ran all the numbers on what that would have cost vs grinding/melting them down vs throwing them out.

    I do recall hearing before about saving the sprocket holes, and the rest also makes sense considering the volume that Kodak and major processors were dealing with.

    Did Regular 8 metal or plastic spools (or 16mm spools) find their way back to Kodak? There were a couple of independent places -- ESOS and Superior Bulk Film -- that both provided processing and sold their own brands of film. I imagine they spooled their house brand film on empties they got in from processing customers.

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