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The Impact of Ink Cartridges on the Environment

Did you know that the average office worker uses 10,000 pieces of paper every year? If you were to all that paper up, it would be equivalent to a tree that’s an impressive 100 feet tall. If that’s how much paper is used, just think about how many ink cartridges are used.

In the UK alone, 45 million non-biodegradable ink cartridges are thrown away into landfills.  Some of the plastics used in the manufacturing process can take up to 1,000 years to fully decompose. During this time, toxic chemicals spread into the soil and pollute the environment.

Some of the plastics used to manufacture cartridges can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, leaving more than enough time for their toxic chemicals to spread into the soil and pollute the environment.

An independent study by sustainability company Best Foot Award, concluded that the ink cartridge remanufacturing process saves on average, 2.5kg of CO2 per cartridge compared to the production of a new cartridge. The study goes on to say, “the carbon footprint of a remanufactured cartridge is approximately 2.8 kg, which is 2 kg (46%) lower than that for a new cartridge.

So what does this mean to us as consumers? How can we be responsible for the environment and reduce our carbon footprint? For starters, instead of throwing away our ink cartridges, we should recycle them. By simply recycling our ink cartridges, we can greatly lessen our impact on the environment.

Here are just some of the benefits to reuse and recycle ink cartridges:

decrease air and water pollution Air and water pollution decreases due to less landfilling, incineration or the manufacturing of new cartridges.
preserve natural resources Natural resources such as timber, water, oil/petroleum and minerals are conserved, as there’s less of a need for raw materials.
save energy Less manufacturing means recycling helps to save energy.
reduce greenhouse gases Greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global climate change, are reduced.
recycle ink cartridges Recycling helps us to sustain the environment for future generations.

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