Recycling is becoming more important than ever. Unfortunately, many people aren’t recycling nearly enough. We have found that 34.5% of all recyclable products are recycled. Most experts are looking to increase this rate to 75%, which would be highly beneficial for the environment.
Part of the problem is that many people don’t realize certain products can be recycled. Printer cartridges are a key example.
Printer Cartridges Should Always Be Recycled
How often do you actually think about printing? Do you click a button, get your document and carry on until the ink is empty and you need to replace it? The convenience allows you to focus on other things that seem more important at the time. But what do you do with the cartridges you’re replacing? Do you put them in the general waste or recycle it?
In 2017, 99.95 million units of hardcopy peripherals, including printers and copiers, were shipped worldwide. That is a lot of cartridges that are destined for landfill if you don’t recycle them properly. In fact, in the UK it’s estimated that 55 million empty or used cartridges take a trip there. To put it into perspective, they would be able to cover the entire Old Trafford football pitch 119 times.
Millions of cartridges are thrown away each year – but they can be recycled. Many have cottoned on to this already – and 30% of the world’s cartridges are recycled, which is great. But we can all do better. Here we take a look at why more people should be thinking about how they dispose of ink cartridges.
1. Environmental impact
We’ve already shared the astonishing figure of ink cartridges that end up in a landfill. But did you know they could take up to 1,000 years to decompose? Recycling your cartridges can reduce air and water pollution (due to having to manufacture new cartridges) and saves energy. We’re all starting to wake up to the need to do our bit for the planet – this is one small change that can make a big difference.
2. Less waste
Your printer may not actually be out of ink. In fact, if you use a tri-colour cartridge, when one colour runs out, it doesn’t mean all have. However, despite it only being one colour, you will need to replace the whole cartridge. So what happens to the other colours? By recycling your cartridges, it means the ink that is remaining in the cartridge could well be put to good use (and if it can’t be used, it can be disposed of correctly).
3. Economic benefits
Reducing the amount of waste heading to landfill sites can have a positive effect on the economy. It can certainly help to save the government money thanks to recycling being cheaper to handle than general waste. The country also has tough emissions targets to hit – and will want to avoid punitive measures for missing them.
How to recycle your cartridges
Recycling your ink cartridges is really simple.
- Pop all of your empty cartridges into a box
- Head over to your favorite app, register and download its freepost label
- Send them off (be sure to check that your box of cartridges doesn’t weigh more than 750g).
You may also be able to recycle through your original printer manufacturer’s own scheme.
When it comes to changing your cartridges in your printer, think about where that little bit of plastic could end up. Will you recycle it and give it a new purpose and help the environment, or send it to landfill to sit for 1,000 years slowly polluting the ground?
Cartridge Recycling is More Important than Ever
You can’t overlook the importance of recycling. There are a number of reasons cartridges should be recycled. You can follow the tips listed above.