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BENTONVILLE, Ark. and ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Eastman Kodak Co. are joining forces to launch a national program to recycle used materials from in-store picture kiosks.
The program is underway at about 4,100 Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Clubs in the U.S. that operate Kodak Picture Kiosks, and is expected to annually recycle two million pounds of thermal printer ribbon, spools, and cartridges, the companies said yesterday. That amount is equivalent to the weight of approximately six, 250-passenger commercial airliners, the companies said.
This initiative builds on ongoing sustainability efforts of both companies.
"Our partnership with Kodak to recycle materials from the photo kiosks in our stores is another step toward achieving our zero waste goal," said Lori Kumar, divisional merchandise manager for Wal-Mart, in a statement. "This initiative complements a number of other recycling programs in our photo department, including the recycling of silver, one-time use camera bodies and film canisters."
Included in the Wal-Mart recycling program will be all three components used in Kodak's picture kiosks: printer ribbon, plastic spools, and cartridges. These components are primarily made of polyethylene terphthalate (PETE) and polystyrene, which are plastics that are widely recycled today.
These materials will be collected in each store and sent regularly to one of several Wal-Mart Return Centers. From there, Wal-Mart recyclers, with Kodak's assistance, will separate the materials and process them for re-use.
In a related effort to further reduce waste and impact to the environment, Kodak has introduced a change in the way these thermal materials are packaged by removing the bubble wrap around the donor spool, which decreases the overall package size and weight.