Environmental and practical benefits of reusing & recycling ink toner cartridges
It takes up to one thousand years for a used-up inkjet or toner cartridge to decompose in a landfill.
It is estimated that current levels of recycling ink cartridges saves North American landfills from absorbing more than 40,000 tons of metal and plastic each year. For every 100,000 cartridges recycled, we effectively save 40 tons of plastic, 9,599 kilograms (about 10.6 tons) of aluminum and one million liters of oil. It is no wonder that routinely recycling Ink cartridges is now considered to be a definitive example of successful and sustainable progress in the business world.
Remarkably, even more successful energy/production/resource savings can be achieved by simply by first reusing cartridges — through factory reconditioning — until they can no longer be salvaged (at which time it is appropriate to recycle them).
Four good reasons to reuse and recycle ink cartridges
- Recycling means significantly less pollution of our air and water from manufacturing cartridges and from landfill and incineration of used cartridges. It saves our organic resources such as lumber, water, oil/petroleum and also minerals due to the fact that it reduces the requirement for basic materials.
- Recycling and renovating used cartridges takes far less energy and essential resources than making new ones. Every recycled cartridge results in a savings of water, petroleum products, timber and minerals.
- Recycling helps reduce greenhouse gases that scientists believe are a primary factor in climate change.
- Reusing and recycling cartridges is one of the things that all businesses can do to help ensure that we are leaving a healthy environment for generations to come.
Want additional information about the impact of recycling vs throwing away cartridges? Here’s more:
Every year an estimated 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are disposed of. Think about it: 375 million. That’s one million cartridges disposed of every day, or 11 per second. If you lined up all these empty cartridges end-to-end they would circle the earth more than three times.
Sadly, approximately 70% of ink cartridges and 50% of toner cartridges are not recycled, instead ending up in incinerators or landfills.
Why does this matter? For one thing, the plastic parts of printer cartridges are composed of an engineering- grade polymer that takes up to one thousand years to decompose. Additionally, in landfills ink cartridges may leak residual printer ink, polluting the surrounding earth and seeping into the water table. Of particular concern is the fact that carbon black (toner ink) is carcinogenic according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. These facts alone provide plenty of motivation to recycle cartridges.
Additionally, manufacturing new cartridges requires large amounts of oil. Producing just one new inkjet cartridge uses three ounces of oil, while manufacturing one laser cartridge takes a whopping three quarts of oil. In comparison, remanufacturing/reconditioning a used cartridge uses no oil at all. It is estimated that recycling most ink cartridges would save more than 11 million gallons of oil in the first seven months.
Recycling cartridges also reduces the waste of other natural resources. If handled correctly, up to 97% of the materials in a printer cartridge can be recycled. But don’t forget that reusing a cartridge should definitely be the first step, before recycling it for its parts. Cartridges can usually be refilled five to seven times, and even up to 15 times in some cases.