Ways to Recycle Plastic Film Canisters for New Use in the 21st Century

One of the casualities of the digital age is the little plastic container that photographic film used to come in. As you have made the transition of your filmed image into a digital format, you may find yourself left with a collection of those little plastic film canisters. What do you do with them now that you don’t need them? Just add more plastic to America’s landfills? Surely, you are a better American than that. Cut down on our waste management crisis while putting those canisters to good use by recycling and repurposing them to suit other needs.

Interior Decoration

As time goes marching by, those black canisters with the gray lids are eventually come back into vogue for their retro quality. Get a jump on the inevitable return of value to these relics of another time by introducing them into your interior decorating scheme. Any theme built around the art of photography can easily incorporate those canisters as part of the decor. You don’t even need a theme to use them: glue film canisters to the corners of picture frames that show off the glory of old-fashioned photography.


You can also decorate with film canisters in a way that is also quite useful. Fill up the container with sand to use as an effective paperweight.

Spice Shakers

Either as part of a decorating theme or just to add a little creativity to the dining room table, fill up old film canisters with salt, pepper or any other spice small enough to be shaken through holes made in the lid.

Seed Storage

The black plastic containers that used to store film are perfect for putting away plant seeds until you are ready to use them. The tough exterior of the canisters will offer protect against weather, insects and sunlight.

Car Change

That protective quality of film canisters and their diminutive size make the a great place for holding loose change in the car. You can even separate the coins by denomination so that each gets their own canister. Properly labeled, you can then easily find quarters, nickels, pennies or dimes when you specifically need them. Toss the canisters into the glove compartment and you will always know exactly where your change is when you need it while driving.

Keeping it Dry

Film canisters can keep coinage as well as paper money safe and dry when you head out on a boat. Why take a chance on your wallet falling out of your pocket and into the drink when you can just curl up your cash inside one of these handy dandy little containers?

Battery Compartments

Compartmentalize your supply of batteries for safe keeping as instant identification when you need them. Separate your AA, AAA and all those little round batteries into their own private containers. You will be able to instantly locate which sized battery you need. An additional bonus: if you wait so long to use the batteries that they start leaking acid, you won’t have any mess to clean. Just dispose of the whole canister.

Keeping it Cool

Give the film canisters a thorough cleaning and then fill with water and cap them. Place them in the freezer and when ready you can toss them into your kid’s lunchbox to make sure food stays cool enough to remain healthy during the long period between preparation and consumption.

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