In partnership with MPB

The second round of the Amateur Photographer of the Year (APOY) competition is now open for entries, on the theme of Natural World. With the planet under threat like never before, all photographers and photography businesses have a duty to do their best to help protect the environment, or future generations will have nothing left to shoot.

This year’s competition is sponsored by used specialist MPB, which is very fitting; not only is buying used camera gear better for the planet, the company is taking positive action to ensure its business is as environmentally friendly as possible, including packaging and courier delivery. We found out more…

Why is buying used camera gear better for the planet?
At MPB, we’re changing the way visual storytellers buy, sell and trade in photo and video kit. We have always been committed to making kit more accessible and affordable, and helping to visualise a more sustainable future.

Used kit is better for your wallet, and better for the planet too.

MPB recirculates three hundred thousand cameras and lenses every year, extending the life and creative potential of photo and video kit for visual storytellers around the world.

Our teams of product specialists—based in Brighton, Berlin and Brooklyn—thoroughly check every single item to ensure the best possible performance. And we include a free six-month warranty too.

As well as buying used, MPB makes it easy for people to sell the kit they’re no longer using. We offer free online valuations, free insured pickup and fast payments. As you’re selling directly to MPB, and buying directly from us too, it’s by far the most secure way to trade-in kit.

What about the packaging MPB uses?
All of our packaging is 100% paper-based, biodegradable and recyclable. We use a specialist dispenser that cuts recyclable Kraft paper into a 3D honeycomb structure, providing a unique environmentally-friendly protective wrapping that keeps our products safe.

By locking angled paper cells together, items can be wrapped securely without the need for plastic adhesive tape. It’s proved to be really popular with our customers. If you run a business and you’re thinking of switching to recycled packaging, do it.

Sometimes, our users send us their kit wrapped in items of clothing, we work with local charities and the department of sanitation in New York to ensure that all of these materials are recycled and used again.

What are you doing to actively promote sustainability?
All of our in-box marketing materials are made from recycled materials and are 100% recyclable. They also always have a second use, from guides to help visual storytellers take better care of their kit to gift wrap and gift tags to use when buying kit for others. We also encourage our buyers to re-use the box we ship the kit to them in.

We have partnered with One Tree Planted to plant trees in areas where there has been deforestation. So far, we have planted more than 20,000 trees on behalf of MPB customers.

What else is MPB doing to reduce your carbon footprint?
As well as eliminating all plastic packaging and going 100% paper-based, we have also reduced the overall volume of packaging materials through a more efficient packing process.

In the UK, we use DPD as our main logistics partner. DPD aims to become the greenest delivery company on the planet—they’ve launched their ‘25-25-25’ strategy to provide zero-emission deliveries to the UK’s largest towns and cities by 2025. Since the start of 2021, MPB has already delivered thousands of parcels on all-electric vehicles.

Plus, using guidelines supplied by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, we’re proactively measuring our circularity so we can set ourselves targets to continually improve our environmental performance and green credentials.

We care about the planet, and we know many photographers and videographers do too, so we’re constantly working hard to keep MPB’s status as the greenest name in camera gear.

Make sure you enter Amateur Photographer of the Year
Round two of APOY, the biggest and best photography competition of its kind, is on the theme of Natural World, which encompasses all aspects of our beautiful planet: fauna, flora and the seas. There are £11,000 worth of prizes on offer from MPB, and entry is open to all amateur photographers.


Further reading
Behind the scenes at MPB
MPB announces its Hall of Fame cameras