Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you will be aware of recent campaigns to reduce the use of plastic in our everyday lives. A recent episode of Blue Planet II and a viral video of a poor sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nose has helped to put the reduction of single-use plastics to the forefront of public debate. Action by retailers and restaurateurs to reduce the use of plastic straws – which is the fifth most common form of rubbish picked up off coastlines – is now commonplace.
Single use plastics (also called disposable plastics) are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. Items such as plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, fizzy drinks or water bottles and most food packaging are probably the obvious ones. But what about in your workplace? What would you say is the single biggest source of waste plastic in your workplace today? Packaging? Spent stationery? Perhaps. But today we’re talking about one item that gets used and abused on a daily basis, and is usually out of sight and out of mind. The humble printer cartridge stays hidden inside your printer or copier, and at the end of its useful life, what then?
Did you know that… ?
- 65 million printer cartridges are sold a year in the U.K
- If you stack these end to end they will be as long as the Great Wall of China
- Of those 65 million, only 15% are recycled, which means 55 million cartridges end up on landfill sites in the U.K. alone.
- Plastic takes over 1000 years to degrade and the toner inside is considered hazardous waste.
- Toner cartridges weigh between 1.5kg – 2.5kg. which means there is up to 162,500,000kg of waste toner and plastic going to landfill EVERY YEAR.
Not shocking enough? Here is an infographic to help you digest all of that:
You’ll have to forgive the slight corporate bias (we don’t use InkTechnologies) but therein lie some pretty shocking statistics. If you’ve got this far you’re hopefully interested in helping to reduce this waste. So here are our
Two easy ways to reduce plastic waste in your business:
1. Recycle your cartridges.
If you’ve no idea where to start then our team can help. We are pleased to offer a printer cartridge recycling programme to all our customers and we’re looking at how to implement something through our Technology teams too. By partnering with us you can help to reduce those shocking statistics, and protect the environment.
2. Buy re-manufactured cartridges.
Re-manufactured cartridges use brand new working components and toner powder BUT the plastic casing on the outside is all re-manufactured. Sometimes more than once. Even if a cartridge is only re-used once, it will halve the 55 million cartridges / 162,500,000 kg of waste plastic ending up in landfill. The added bonus is that re-manufactured cartridges are cheaper than originals by between 10%-50%, so you could halve your spend too!
If you are already an Office Supplies customer and would like to find out more about recycling your current printer cartridges or purchasing re-manufactured ones, please contact Ben using the form below.
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Ben CowtonTechnology Products Specialist
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Image Credit: Phys.org