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Ink Jet Cartridges Why You Should Recycle

Aug 17, 2007
Millions of inkjet cartridges are currently sold in the UK each year with over a billion cartridges being sold worldwide. According to available statistics, only around 30 percent to 40 percent of printer cartridges are currently being remanufactured or recycled so we are left with the question, what happens to the rest. Unfortunately, they are most likely to end up in landfill sites and this is definitely not the right answer.


Each and every one of us produces waste; this is an unavoidable and indisputable fact of life. However, what we do with our waste collectively or independently is a matter of choice. Millions of tonnes of waste end up in landfill sites each year and this poses not only a risk to the environment, but is a direct risk to our health and wellbeing.

Landfill takes up space that we are fast running out of; in fact some say we will have no space left within the next few years. Some of the rubbish rotting beneath the earth in landfill sites can take thousands of years to break down, and meanwhile toxic gases are being released into the atmosphere and into the surrounding earth and waterways, and this is despite increasing legislation and measures to control landfill sites.

The problem with Inkjet Cartridges

Inkjet cartridges contain engineering grade polymers that can take maybe a thousand years or more to decompose. If they are incinerated they produce toxic gases that are released into the atmosphere. The manufacturing process involved in making new inkjet cartridges requires the use of natural resources including nearly 100mls of oil to make each and every one.

According to Waste Online, around 14,000 tonnes of inkjet and toner cartridges were sent to landfill in 2003. It stands to reason that as more and more people move into the technological age of computers and printers, there will be more inkjet printer cartridges to dispose of each year so the problem is likely to increase unless we all do something about it.

Ways to recycle your inkjet cartridge

Every single inkjet cartridge that ends up in landfill the first time it reaches the end of its life is a waste of a resource and a waste of money because an Ink jet cartridge is one item that can be reused several times over at least.

Some companies offer a return scheme where you can take or send back your old cartridge so that it can be remanufactured or refilled and sold again.

There are numerous organisations that will take your old cartridge and will even pay you for it. Many will donate some of the money to charity.

You could have your old cartridge refilled at a mere fraction of the cost of what it would cost you to buy a new one

By recycling or refilling your old cartridge you make a valuable contribution to the health and wealth of the planet. Recycling cartridges allows you to help charities, reduce the amount of natural resources required to make new cartridges, helps reduce the amount of space taken up by landfill, reduces CO2 emissions and you even save money from your own pocket.

So why are so many inkjet cartridges still ending up in landfill. The simple answer to this question is that many people are still not making the choice to dispose of their cartridges in an environmentally friendly way and many others are still buying new cartridges instead of recycled ones.

Lets face it, it may be terribly convenient to just pop your old cartridge into the bin and buy a brand new one to replace it but in doing this, not only is the environment put at risk, so is the health and well being of the planet and each and every one of us who live on it.

Buying a recycled cartridge

One possible barrier to buying a recycled cartridge is that it is not often possible to tell if the recycled cartridge will be as good as a new one. However, when buying a recycled printer cartridge there are a number of important points you can clarify with the supplier first to ensure that you really are getting value for money and at the same time are helping to save the planet.

Has the cartridge been print tested first to ensure good print quality.

Will the recycled cartridge last as long as a new cartridge.

Does it show on the package that it is a recycled cartridge.

What happens if something goes wrong with it and is there a warranty or returns policy.

Is the supplier a member of any recognised trade associations.


Fortunately, attitudes to recycling are slowly changing thanks to national campaigns to raise awareness about the issues involved with landfill and the environment so more and more people are now waking up to the issue of waste in general.

Recycling or reusing our inkjet cartridges is something that all of us can do quite easily to make a difference and it neednt require a lot of effort, its simply a matter of choosing to do the right thing.
About the Author
Simon jones is an expert in recycling and skip hire. For more information about skip hire please come and visit our site http://www.valueskiphire.co.uk/regional/skip-hire-blackpool.asp
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