Returning Sprues?

Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I was at The Spare Time Shoppe in Marlborough, MA; and the proprietor & a customer were having an interesting conversation concerning the price of model kits. This went on for a few minutes, bringing up the usual suspects of increased model cost (supply chain issues, COVID, price of oil, war in Ukraine, Walmart/Hobby Lobby, etc.); but one thing caught my attention. The customer (who is an armor modeler) said that one model company was asking modelers to send back the sprues after they finished the kit so that they could be recycled into new kits. While it’s a good idea, I’ve never heard of a model company asking for the empty sprues back. Anyone else ever heard of this?


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Never heard of it but I would love the idea, especially if they paid shipping or gave credit somehow.

Some kits, especially those with interiors leave me with dozens of left over sprue. More than I can ever use for stretched sprue. I hate to throw them out but it’s really my only option


Never heard of such thing and I don’t believe any model company will ever do it because the costs for that would be way too high.
The used sprues I throw always in the bin for recycling plastic and hope my town will do so. Maybe I meet my old sprues one day again returned as a yogurt cup … :smile:


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Part of the reason plastic recycling in general is at a low rate is because it is cheaper to make from new stock rather than recycle old. If it was like aluminum and cheaper to recycle rather than process ore then this might become more of a thing.

And I am assuming we are talking about empty sprues and not simply what’s left when the kit is finished? I keep old sprues for the leftover parts but I do toss those that are bare. I do keep a small supply of sprue to make things out of or dissolve into putty but I have definitely thrown away enough to make a few HKM Lancasters and a couple of Italeri S-100 torpedo boats.

Yes, we’re talking about the empty sprues. We tend to waste a lot of material building models (masking tape comes to mind), and as far as I know most municipalities will not accept the polystyrene from model kits in their recycling programs. So, it goes to the landfill.

Update! Turns out it’s Bandai that is asking for the sprues back to make more models (from FineScale Modeler Magazine):


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From that article, it sounds like it is particular to happening in Japan, and not something worldwide.