Simply Print is an authorised Planet Ark collection centre for cartridge recycling. Used printer cartridges account for a large part of our landfill, and making the effort to recycle them makes a huge difference to our environment.

Planet Ark and their recycling partner Close The Loop have spent years recycling old printer cartridges into new products. Doing so, helps our world considerably by reducing the waste that ends up in landfill, and sometimes in the ocean.

So what happens to printer cartridges when recycled? Once collected, they are taken to a processing plant and sorted by brand and type. Many of the laser cartridges are sent back to the manufacturers for re-use or re-manufacturing using their components. Any that can’t be re-used are put through a process to separate all iron and aluminium based metals and plastic. The end result is the recovery of raw materials which are further filtered, upgraded and then used instead of virgin materials in the normal manufacture of new products. These new products can include new cartridges, but can also include products such electronic equipment and even as a base for new roads. There is a product made from plastic components of cartridges called eWood, a synthetic timber alternative used to make fences and furniture. This means less trees cut down.

So why recycle your cartridges? Each year over 350 million cartridges are thrown out to landfill and each cartridge can take over 1,000 years to decompose. Over this 1,000 year period, the highly toxic particles do irrepairable damage to our soil. Green house gas emitted from the manufacture of one single mono toner cartridge has been calculated at 4.8 kg. This is only for the cartridge itself and not the toner inside. If all of these cartridges could be recycled, think of the greener world we’d have.

So please don’t throw a cartridge in your bin, throw it in ours. And it costs you nothing to do it.

Image: @porstocker via Twenty20

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