Small Steps, Big Business Benefits: Smart Reasons To Recycle Printer Ink And Toner Cartridges

Printer Ink

We are almost constantly being reminded these days of our need to adopt a greener attitude and to recycle whenever we can, but for some reason the message is still slow to be taken up when it comes to ink and toner cartridges. If you are looking for a replacement ink cartridge you can find one online very easily, but rather than simply throw it away and order another one to replace it when its finished, there are plenty of smart reasons why it would be better to try and recycle it.

Millions Of Cartridges

There are literally millions of ink cartridges thrown away every year and many of them will most likely end up in a landfill site, where they will take up to 1,000 years to decompose. The manufacturing process of producing each brand new cartridge uses an estimated 8.0kg of CO2 and almost 1lb of oil, so you can soon see how much of our earth’s resources could be saved if more of these millions of wasted cartridges were recycled and reused rather than be thrown away. It is believed that somewhere in the region of 375 million cartridges are discarded every year on a worldwide basis. To put this into perspective, this number of cartridges would circle the earth three times over.

Good Candidates For Recycling

Ink cartridges can be considered as good candidates for recycling when you consider that around 95% of the materials used originally, can be recycled and reused. These empty ink cartridges are able to provide some valuable plastic material that can be re-purposed in a number of ways and not just for making more cartridges and when you recycle your ink cartridges, you are also reducing your carbon footprint.

Free Recycling Programs

Most of the major ink and toner cartridge manufacturers operate their own free recycling programs in addition to the various schemes that you might find online. Hewlett Packard have had a recycling program in operation since 1991 and proudly claims that it has recycled enough ink cartridges to circle the about earth 2.5 times, which doesn’t quite match the annual estimate of how far the cartridges we throw away each year will stretch, but it is still a commendable figure. HP offer you the chance to print out some prepaid shipping labels, which you can find on their website, so you can simply drop your used ink cartridges into the mailbox at no cost to yourself and return them for recycling, if that is your preferred option of simply buying a new replacement cartridge. Check with your printer cartridge supplier to see what recycling schemes are available.

General Benefits Of Recycling For Your Business

It could be that your supplier is able to offer a service of refilling your ink cartridge rather than replacing it with a new one. This often works out to be less expensive than buying a band new cartridge and it does of course have excellent environmental benefits as you will be saving a cartridge for potentially ending up in a landfill site. Another general benefit of adopting a recycling policy within your business is not just the financial savings that you might be able to achieve. There are plenty of customers these days who like to choose to give their business to someone who has good environmentally-friendly credentials, so a visible green approach to how you use and dispose of your resources could actually be good for your turnover as well as your reputation.

Recycle For Charity

If your business wants to support a particular charity, there are many ways to do this and one of them could be donating your used ink cartridges. This initiative offers your business the opportunity to protect the environment and raise money for a charity at the same time. Many of these charities will ask you to register your interest in supporting their charity by donating your used ink cartridges and they will often then supply you with some freepost envelopes that you can use to send them in.

You will need to check the criteria for submitting your cartridges as they will need to have not been previously refilled and should have the circuit board and jet plat in the underside to fulfil the acceptance criteria in most cases. These charities are then able to generate much-needed revenue from recycling these ink cartridges, so this is viewed as win-win situation, especially if your business is keen to support a particular charity and can help in this way. It only takes a small step to adopt a recycling policy within your business, but it does have potentially big benefits.

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John Sollars

John Sollars started his printer cartridge supplier company in 2002 which is committed to paper recycling schemes. He enjoys sharing his printing insights.