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Why toner cartridges are the last thing you should put in the bin

Posted: 26 Apr 2016

We live in a hugely wasteful society. Our ‘throwaway’ culture has meant we’ve made many mistakes that we will be paying the price for in years to come. Even today, there are organisations and individuals who have still not grasped the concept of recycling yet, so we need to prioritise changing mindsets.

Working towards a greener future, we need to consider our impact on the environment and take steps to reduce our carbon waste output. Not usually at the top of everybody’s recycling list, one way we can make an impact is to recycle our used toner cartridges. Throw a toner cartridge in the bin and it will take 450 years to decompose in landfill. Due to the sheer volume of toner cartridges we discard as a nation, they have a huge negative effect on the environment.

The good, the bad and the ugly facts

Whether we are part of a large corporation or a one-man band, a primary school or a large university, it is evident that some of us make the effort to recycle toner cartridges. Two and a half million toner cartridges are recycled, reused or remanufactured every year, but shockingly an additional 10 million still find their way into landfill. A Planet Ark report written in 2006 states that 18 million toner cartridges would create 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste, 2,500 tonnes of ferrous metals, 400 tonnes of aluminium and 26Kg of precious metals.

Have you’ve ever wondered what your toner cartridges are composed of? Well, the packaging comes from tress, the plastic is taken from crude oil, the steel is from iron ore – the list goes on. The investment of fossil fuels and raw materials into their make-up is quite considerable. Landfill sites are filling up fast, and considering that plastics haven’t been around that long in the grand scheme of things, space is becoming an issue.

Toxic nature

When you put waste toner cartridges into landfill, they don’t just sit there. Interactions begin with the natural habit they reside in; whether it’s as mistaken food for wildlife, ink contamination in water sources or soil poisoning, all these interactions cause the destruction of natural habitats that can effect ecosystems for generations.

If we don’t take action to increase toner cartridge recycling, we risk damaging future generations for years to come. Animals will become extinct, water will be contaminated, ground will become unusable and space will simply run out. There are a multitude of nationwide toner cartridge recycling services available to get involved in – most of which are free and relieve the burden and cost of disposing of cartridges via your commercial waste collection.

Get involved

If you want to start recycling your toner cartridges, then why not sign up to our free UK-wide cartridge recycling scheme? Simply call us on 02920 492111 to register your details. We’ll send you a cartridge recycling box for your workplace. Just place this near your office printer and you’ll make it super easy for employees to recycle the toner cartridges they’d otherwise throw in the bin. 

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