The importance of being green is spreading to a lot of industries nowadays. The biggest strain on the environment remains the use of oil for heating and power, but there are a lot of ways aside from saving energy that can help a person to reduce their carbon footprint.
You might never have considered it, but your humble ink cartridge can even be recycled to save you money and protect the environment. Let’s take a look at how this works.
Ink cartridges might not be the biggest culprit in damaging the world, but any area that can be made more eco-friendly should be investigated. By recycling them, fewer cartridges will need to be produced and therefore the environmental impact of our printing will be reduced.
A few facts on the environmental impact of using and not recycling ink cartridges are summarised below to put this into perspective:
- Approximately 4.8kg of CO2 are emitted from manufacturing a single mono toner ink cartridge
- Around 350 million ink cartridges go into landfill each year with 45 million going into UK sites – enough cartridges to cover Old Trafford a whopping 17 times!
- Each of these ink cartridges contributes 3.5lb of solid waste and can take between 450 and 1,000 years to decompose fully
- Estimates suggest around 90% of all empty ink cartridges are not recycled
- In one year, recycling every ink cartridge in the UK alone could save 15 million litres of oil
Not all inkjet cartridges can be recycled, but many can. Toners for laser printers can also be recycled so it’s important that you investigate all of your options to see just how much more environmentally efficient you can make your printing.
Businesses in particular have a lot of responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint and recycling ink cartridges and toners is just one way to do this. The benefits of doing so aren’t just environmental – they’re also financial.
Financial benefits of recycling ink cartridges
Many cartridges have specialist chips on the top which are read by the printer. This added piece of technology is partly responsible for their high cost. Refilling these cartridges with the correct ink can often be cheaper than purchasing a whole new cartridge – especially if it is only one colour which has run out completely.
Many firms allow you to claim money back when sending empty cartridges to be recycled after use. Usually this is provided as monetary credit which you can use to buy products from their site – helping to save you money on a regular expenditure.
Where can I do this?
Many firms will recycle ink cartridges to create new ones, refilling them with ink and making them suitable for use in printers. These are sometimes known as remanufactured ink cartridges and most ink retailers will have an inkjet cartridge recycling service. I’ve personally used Phoenix Direct in the past and can have no complaints.
Remanufactured cartridges still deliver high quality results so you’re not sacrificing quality for the sake of the environment and a slightly fatter wallet. The more adventurous among you can also choose to manually refill your ink cartridges at home for a really cost-effective, eco-friendly solution.
[This post is supported by Phoenix Direct.]