Although many companies do take steps to recycle as much as they can, including their office ink and toner cartridges, there are still people who believe that throwing a cartridge away is no different to recycling it.
Why recycling office and toner ink cartridges is important
By not recycling cartridges, in the long run, we all lose. And here’s why;
MORE natural resources consumed
It may be a small cartridge for an ink jet printer or the larger cassettes used in laser printers, but no matter how big or small, making a cartridge consumes large amounts of natural resources.
For example, plastic is produced from oil while the metals used, such as copper and aluminium, are mined and refined. Each new cartridge swallows resources created by the earth over millennia, and are not finite resources.
For every 100,000 cartridges produced, manufacturers use around 5 tons of aluminium, 40 tons of plastic and 250,000 gallons of oil, all precious resources.
When you throw a cartridge away, it ends up in one of two places: either landfill or the incinerator.
Landfill – plastic takes a long time to decay, taking up to 1,000 years. During this time, the ink left in the cartridge – they are rarely fully empty – will leak into the surrounding area, contaminating the land and soil beneath.
Incinerating – burning it isn’t the answer either because when plastic is heated, it gives off gases that contribute to smog, a form of air pollution that hovers over many cities across the globe. Before they are burnt, the small pieces of metal are removed, and these make their way to landfill, allowing for further contamination.
INCREASED greenhouse gases
Greenhouses gases are linked to global warming, a theory that first appeared in 1896.
Carbon dioxide, a waste gas produced when oil, gas and coal are burnt, becomes trapped in the upper atmosphere along with other pollutants. Slowly, our planet is getting warmer, changing the course of weather patterns and climate. Each time a new cartridge is produced, greenhouses gases are pumped into the atmosphere.
Ink and printer manufacturers are doing their part to decrease their effect on the environment, by recycling plastic ink cartridges as much as possible.
Hewlett Packard in America believes that some of its cartridges have been recycled up to 10 times or more, with the shipment of cartridges for recycling steadily increasing year on year.
LESS energy used
Refilling an ink cartridge consumes less energy than creating one from new – producing a batch of new ink cartridges consumes 80% more energy than recycling them. It means less oil is consumed to make plastic and less harm to the environment.
Recycling your office ink and toner cartridges is nor hard or expensive in fact, at UK Office solutions, we offer a FREE recycling service. All you need to do is get in touch with your name, telephone number and email address and we will arrange to get your free recycling bag sent out to you. Simply pop your empties in the bag and return to us. We even pay the postage!