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Recycle Your Ink Cartridges!The impact of recycling ink cartridges, on our environment, is monumental. It isn’t simply the ink that is being recycled. Plastic and metal waste are being diverted from our landfills. When the plastic casings of the cartridges begin to decompose, poisonous toxins are seeping into our soil and water. Reducing cartridge manufacturing lowers net energy use, which ultimately impacts climate change. Further, reducing the amount of plastic products being used reduces the amount of oil that is consumed. Plastic cannot be manufactured, without oil. Eventually, greenhouse gases are affected, with respect to global climate change.

Recycling ink and toner cartridges keeps millions of pounds of solid waste each year from landfills

As a society we are printing, copying and faxing more than ever. Used ink and toner cartridges are clogging our nation’s landfills, as many as 400 million per year!

Because cartridges are a petroleum based product, they take hundreds of years to decompose, adding to the already serious environmental problem. Cartridges are made of plastic, and it takes up to three quarts of oil to manufacture a single cartridge.

Ink cartridges are considered e-waste; they are harmful to the environment and can take eons to decompose. Companies and consumers should recycle their old ones, and when ink cartridges are purchased, go with refilled ones, which work just like conventional cartridges.

Environmental Impact

Many programs have been implemented in the United States and Europe to encourage the recycling of ink cartridges. New York has implemented a recycling law for businesses and consumers regarding toner and ink cartridges. In California the Public Contract Code (PCC) section 12156 encourages businesses to purchase recycled ink and toner cartridges.

The list below outlines a few facts about toner/ink cartridges and the impact they have on the environment:

  • GHGs (green house gases) emissions from manufacturing a single mono toner cartridge have been calculated to approximately 4.8 kg CO2; per cartridge.
  • Each year over 350 million cartridges are thrown out to landfills.
  • By 2012 500 million laser cartridges and 1.8 billion ink cartridges will be dumped in landfills.
  • Each cartridge becomes 3.5 pounds of solid waste sitting in a landfill and can take up to 450 to 1000 years to decompose.
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