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The best ways to recycle ink and toner cartridges

We’ve spoken before about the simple ways you can reduce the use of plastic in your workplace. Unfortunately, though, for the time being, plastic usage is an inevitable part of modern working life. More and more offices are ‘going paperless’ and embracing digital over print but removing plastic is still a work in progress.

So, while plastic is still such an unavoidable issue, it’s paramount that we are all doing as much as we can to make consumption of it more responsible. Reusable water bottles, recyclable printer paper and sustainable packaging are all no-brainers but have you thought about recycling your inks and toner cartridges?

The facts & figures

According to leading UK recycle centre, The Recycling Factory, more than one billion cartridges are used around the world every year. Around 65 million of these printer cartridges are purchased in the UK alone.

A shocking 350 million of the printer cartridges used every year end up in landfill as people dispose of them irresponsibly and choose not to recycle them instead. The plastic casing of a cartridge can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, which means the quantity of waste in landfill is only to keep on growing if we don’t do something about it.

The best ways to recycle old printer inks and toner cartridges in an eco-friendly way

How to recycle printer ink and toner cartridges:

Recycling printer ink and toner cartridges is a quick, simple and effective way to be more eco-friendly about your workplace waste processes and requires minimal effort on your part.

Buy from a supplier with sustainability in mind

As part of our continued efforts to help our customers be more conscious about their choices and become more sustainable ourselves, we offer a printer cartridge collection service. Simply get in touch to let us know you would like us to leave a box with you on your next delivery and we can collect it next time we’re there. We take a load off your mind by making sure your empties are recycled or disposed of responsibly.

Take them to your local recycling centre or look out for collection boxes

Most local council centres will have a recycling facility where you can take your empty cartridges so just collect them up and take a trip there when you’ve got a stockpile. Some of your local charity shops or libraries may also have collection boxes where you can drop them off.

The best ways to recycle old printer inks and toner cartridges in an eco-friendly way

Support re-use and re-manufacture

A good quality cartridge can be reused up to three times so rather than throwing them away after first use, recycle them for re-use or re-manufacture. Many of the leading ink and toner manufacturers (including Kyocera and Konica Minolta) will offer a cartridge collection service but failing that, there are a whole host of services which dedicate themselves to collecting and sorting old cartridges.

It takes a whopping 3 pints of oil to to manufacture one new toner cartridge so not only does supporting re-manufacture help keep cartridges from ending up in landfill or incinerators unnecessarily, it also helps preserve raw materials.

The best ways to recycle old printer inks and toner cartridges in an eco-friendly way

Oh, and don’t forget about the packaging which your printer cartridges come in too! Cardboard and many plastics are now widely recycled so check the packaging and if it applies, chuck it in with the recycling instead of the general waste bin.

Do you have of your own tips on how to make workplace plastic use more sustainable? Come and share them with us on Twitter @PenkethGroup

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