We all know about the importance of reducing our paper use, as well as recycling the paper that we do use. While we may be making effort to print less documents to save paper, what you may not have considered about your printing habits is the effect that printer cartridges have on the environment.

How ink cartridges affect the environment

Over two billion ink cartridges are sold each year worldwide and over 70% of those are thrown out, ending up in a landfill. That’s a lot of waste!

Ink cartridges are made up of plastics, metals, ink and toner. Plastics, in fact, are made of oil, meaning that there are a lot of non-renewable resources involved in your ability to print.

Resources such as oils and metals require a large amount of energy to produce. When you recycle your cartridges, manufacturers can make new ink cartridges with old materials rather than having to collect and produce new materials.

The materials used in ink cartridges are also really bad for the environment if they are left in a landfill and absorbed into the earth over the 1000 or more years it takes for them to break down and decompose.

How ink cartridges are recycled

Recycling ink cartridges is beneficial to the environment, as this process does not pollute the soil with harmful chemicals and carcinogens, whilst also conserving energy and natural resources.

Certain ink cartridge manufacturers pay to have their cartridges returned to them and recycled. When the cartridges are sent back to the manufacturers, they can break down and process them in order to recover the raw materials and make new cartridges. As a reseller of ink cartridges, Cartridges Direct stocks brands that participate in recycling programs.

When you recycle your ink cartridges, they can be used to make new cartridges instead of sitting in a landfill polluting the earth while more resources are being pulled from the earth to make replacements.

What else can you do besides recycling?

In addition to recycling your cartridges, there are other steps you can take to reduce the impact your ink cartridges have on the environment.

Think of ink the same way you would think about paper. Try to only print when necessary and reduce the area that you are printing down to only the necessary information or images. Opting for double sided printing is also always a good idea.

When purchasing ink cartridges, you should check if the brand you are buying has a recycling program. Only buy from these Original Printer Cartridge manufacturers so you know that you will minimise your impact on the environment.