When asked about recycling, most people will think of plastic bottles, cans and paper. But, the true damage to the environment comes from those expensive consumable products that are bought frequently, yet are rarely recycled.
Of course, we are talking about printer cartridges — both ink and toner. Currently, only around 30% of all cartridges are recycled, missing a massive 70% of potential. Comparing that to the 45% of paper recycled in the U.S., the figures show that cartridges are an unpopular product to recycle, and it’s clear why.
Paper is easily recycled. It is likely you have a bin for it somewhere in your home or office and it is collected on a regular basis. Cartridges are much more difficult to dispose of properly and ethically. Almost all recyclers require qualifying targets before you can get a bin and have it collected – meaning many small-volume users have no option to recycle free and conveniently.
Each year, 350 million cartridges are sent to landfill sites. That amount could cover your average football field more than 100 times! The bad news: The number of cartridges sent to landfills grows by 12% every single year, essentially going backwards in terms of being environmentally friendly (especially when the majority of these cartridges could be reused up to four times).
These are quite scary statistics, and we recognize that few ink and toner suppliers are acting on this opportunity to improve the environment. So, here at Toner Giant, we plan to make cartridge recycling free and convenient for all ink and toner users. How we plan to achieve this has yet to be finalized and released to the public, but the end goal is to make cartridge recycling no less of a hassle than taking out the garbage.
Our aim is to lead the market into cartridge recycling with a nonprofit scheme that is completely ethical and environmentally friendly. From this we hope that all of our customers and users in general will become more aware and responsible recyclers so that as a company we can do our part to make the world a better place.
Now we don’t expect to change the world overnight, as there is no immediate solution to an issue that seemingly everyone is contributing to, but there are things you can do right now to help reduce the amount of discarded cartridges. One of them is to buy compatible ink and toner. Compatible cartridges are those that have already been used and remanufactured. When buying compatibles, you are contributing to cartridge recycling while at the same time saving money. On average, compatibles are 36% cheaper than new cartridges.
Gary Flynn is the founder and Managing Director of TonerGiant.co.uk. Gary started the business with the express aim to deliver truly world-class service, and it is this philosophy that has seen TonerGiant grow to be the U.K.’s foremost suppliers of toner cartridges and ink cartridges.