Printer Cartridge Recycling

May 4th, 2020

Every second, worldwide there are around 8 printer cartridges thrown in the bin. Yes thrown in the bin NOT RECYCLED! The physical shell of a printer cartridge is usually in as new condition when it is discarded as the ink or toner is the only part that is actually utilized.

These statistics are increasing every year and back in 2015 the annual number of cartridges binned worldwide was close to 500,000,000 cartridges. When you consider that each cartridge takes around 1,000 years to decompose this equates to a huge amount of unnecessary landfill.

Most inkjet cartridges are capable of being re-used several times with no effect whatsoever on print performance. Some cartridges have built in printheads which may restrict their re-use to only being used 2 or 3 times however it is 100% viable.

Toner or Laser cartridges are also fully recyclable and the actual shell or casing can be re-used many times over. Toner cartridges will often have internal components replaced when “re-manufactured” however the casing is the largest physical component and is fully re-usable.

Although there are a huge number of factories around the world that are now re-using printer cartridges and refilling or re-manufacturing them the percentage compared to the binned cartridges is still quite low.

How can I help recycle cartridges?

Everybody can play their part in helping to make sure that their printer cartridges end up being recycled rather than go to landfill. You may feel insignificant in the overall big picture of things however don’t let that stop you as we can all play our part.