Discarded printer ink and toner cartridges crowd our landfills and contribute to our collective carbon footprint each year, beginning a process of decomposition which can take 450 to 1000 years. (Preton, 2010) Despite wide-spread prophecies of the impending paperless office, it seems that individuals--and businesses especially--will be dependent on printed materials for years to come.
Printing's Impact on the Environment
350 million ink cartridges and toners find a home in landfills across the United States every year, where they leak into our soil and waterways. (Preton, 2010) To compound this problem, greenhouse gas emissions from the creation of new cartridges continue to pollute our environment. Unfortunately, most empty print cartridges are simply discarded rather than recycled. This sobering realization raises one all-important question: how can we continue to print in a way that limits our toll on the environment?
The first step in reducing the environmental damage incurred from printing is…you guessed it--recycle! By utilizing the services of local recycling programs you can benefit the environment in more ways than one: not only do you prevent empty cartridges from arriving in a landfill, you provide an opportunity for them to be remanufactured and reused.
Remanufactured Print Cartridges
Remanufactured print cartridges are printer brand cartridges that have gone through at least one lifecycle before being rebuilt with mostly new parts. The outer shell is reused while essential internal components are replaced, allowing the cartridge to operate like new. When purchased from a reputable vendor of professionally remanufactured print cartridges like LD Products, these cartridges will provide you with a quality of performance comparable to the original at a price that’s just a fraction of the cost. Some big name printer manufacturers claim to be doing their part for the environment by encouraging customers to recycle with them. Although this does provide some environmental benefit and helps to slightly reduce costs by reusing old plastic (a savings that doesn’t appear to be passed down to the customer), it falls well below the eco-friendly advantages of printing with true remanufactured cartridges. According to an independent study conducted in the UK, a remanufactured toner cartridge has a 46% lower carbon footprint than a new cartridge. (Centre for Remanufacturing & Reuse)
Benefits of Remanufactured (Green) Print Cartridges
By recycling and remanufacturing print cartridges, energy is also being saved. It takes, on average, a gallon of fossil oil to produce one toner cartridge, and 2-2 ½ ounces of oil to manufacture a new ink cartridge. (Preton, 2010) With oil prices consistently on the rise and their availability lessening while their threat to the environment increases, saving the smallest amount of fuel can make a positive impact on the environment.
Conservation of Resources
The use of remanufactured ink and toner cartridges also promote the conservation of resources. Generally, it takes five to nine pounds of materials to develop a new toner cartridge. Buying a remanufactured toner not only prevents an old cartridge from being irresponsibly discarded, but it also prevents a new one from being made, thus saving resources in the process.
You’ll notice quite a discrepancy in price between remanufactured ink and toner cartridges compared to the printer brand original. Since many parts of the cartridge, including the plastic shell, are reused the savings can be passed directly to the consumer. These savings can amount to as much as 70%, making it an ideal choice for individuals and businesses that are seeking a cost-effective solution to the most expensive aspect of an office supply budget.
For high quality remanufactured ink and toner that allows you to save money while being environmentally responsible, LD Products is a great alternative. Their remanufactured print cartridges are backed by a one year satisfaction guarantee and ship free on orders over $50.
“Environmental Issues Associated With Toner and Ink Usage.” Preton.com. Preton, Ltd., Mar. 2010. Web. 31 Jul. 2014.
“The carbon footprint of remanufactured versus new mono-toner printer cartridges.” Remanufacturing.org.uk. Centre for Remanufacturing & Reuse, n.d. Web. 31 Jul. 2014.