Go Green Idea: Printer Cartridge Recycling

There are myriad benefits to adopting a recycling policy for your business. Beyond the general aspect of “going green,” there are financial incentives such as customers who specifically look for environmentally-friendly businesses. Your green credentials, such as how you use and dispose of your resources can be good for your bottom line as well as your reputation.

One small way you can make a big impact is by recycling your ink and toner cartridges. Rather than throwing it away and ordering another to replace it… recycle it. Worldwide, almost 375 million cartridges are discarded every year (enough to circle the earth three times.) These cartridges will most likely end up in a landfill and take up to 1,000 years to decompose. To produce a new cartridge, an estimated 8.0kg of CO2 and almost 1 lb of oil is required. You can reduce your carbon footprint and save some of our Earth’s valuable resources by simply recycling that ink cartridge! These empty ink cartridges provide valuable plastic material that can be re-purposed in a number of ways, not just for making more cartridges.

Most of the major ink and toner cartridge manufacturers operate their own free recycling programs. Often these programs ask you to simply ship them your old cartridges in a box with a provided prepaid shipping label. Many office supply stores accept ink and toner cartridges for recycling and some even reward you for doing so. Also, if your business wants to support a particular charity, one way to support them may be by donating your used ink cartridges. Some charities offers businesses postage-paid envelopes for their used ink cartridges and then recycle these ink cartridges for revenue. This becomes a win-win scenario for your business: supporting a charity and protecting the environment.

Recycling is only one part of going green. You should also look into a reduction of printer ink and the reuse (or refilling) of ink cartridges. There are a variety of ways to cut down on the use of ink and toner in the office. Asserting a company wide crackdown on unnecessary printing by implementing such measurements as department allotments, ID badge scanners, and PIN number entries can reduce paper and ink waste. There are also new printers that can have their ink cartridges refilled rather than replaced. The initial investment in a printer with this new technology often works out to be less expensive than continually buying new cartridges. It also has the wonderful environmental benefit of saving cartridges from potentially ending up in a landfill.

At Superior Documents, we know that “going green” and sustainability programs are on everybody’s mind these days. One of the critical areas in any sustainability plan for businesses is how to reduce, reuse, and recycle within the copy, print, and document distribution infrastructure. There are a number of ways to make a significant impact on reducing an organization’s carbon footprint and ultimately lowering costs. To identify which ideas best fit your operation, contact us for a free “Going Green” evaluation.

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