Don’t waste the waste

When a movie wraps, the production often has to deal with a lot of waste – and most of it won’t be reused or recycled – but most of it could be recycled without any additional investment of time or money. In Great Britain, Scenery Salvage is offering a full-set recycling service to studios as well as location shoots. While set items such as doors, windows, furniture, props, and costumes are resold to other productions, the remaining materials, such as wood, metal, and plastics are sorted, stored or processed.
Metal is first crushed, then sent to a smelter to be turned into 
a raw material again. Plastics are made into pellets, while useful components are photographed, catalogued, and resold at reduced rates to the industry. The production company only pays for the transport costs, the weight per ton, and the labor for offloading.



Despite such inspiring initiatives, in general the level of environmental awareness in the film and TV production industry still remains low. Eight
key filmmaking regions have therefore decided to collaborate in the European Green Screen project. “We’re working at the policy level with regional authorities to create the right conditions for film and TV productions to adopt sustainable working practices”, says Daniela Kirchner, Chief Operating Officer of lead partner Film London. “Environmental authorities manage the infrastructure that pro- ductions need, such as waste recycling and green transport. By working together, we can support our sector in managing its impact on the environment.”  


When it comes to reusing and recycling, Belgium offers a good model for adaptation. Designed as a major social employment program that has cre-ated more than 5,000 jobs throughout Brussels, Kringwinkel is bringing products back into the consumer cycle. Reusable goods, which would otherwise end up in landfills, are being collected, repaired, and then resold. The variety of products ranges from household goods, clothing, furniture, electronics, and bicycles to toys, music, and books. The collection team offers a free pick-up service for reusable items, which are then catalogued and posted online.  


Production companies are often unaware of
their environmental impact because no specific environmental regulations govern film and TV industry practices. The Green Screen project will enable Film London, Flanders Audiovisual Fund in Belgium, Ile-de-France Film Commission in France, and the Municipality of Ystad in Sweden to share best practices in sustainable production with Promálaga in Spain, Bucharest Ilfov Regional Development Agency in Romania, Rzeszow Regional Development Agency in Poland, and the Regional Development Agency Senec–Pezinok in Slovakia.



For example, the Ecoprod Collectif in France, in partnership with the Île-de-France Film Commission, published a guide on waste management, recycling measures and methods for film and TV productions. Green Screen is gathering these examples and will publish a European best practice guide. Its goal is to align and standardize environmental practices, as well as to improve regional policies so that sustainable production measures for film, TV, and audiovisual content may be adopted across Europe.
  Photos: Scenery Salvage/ GFS

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