How does recycling ink cartridges and toners affect the environment?

Manufacturing ink cartridges uses up a great deal of our environment’s precious natural resources. Here’s some facts about why it’s so important to recycle them…

  • About 11 ink cartridges are thrown away every second in the United States.
  • 3 lbs of the earth’s natural resources are used just to make 1 ink cartridge. More than 3 quarts of oil are consumed in producing each new laser cartridge.
  • An estimated quantity of over 11 million gallons of oil can be saved in only 7 months, by recycling cartridges and toners (This is also a factor that could eventually help reduce the cost of oil).
  • Not only does recycling ink cartridges save manufacturers money, because they don’t have to use as much to refill them, but it saves customers money when they go to buy them as well. Since they cost less to refill, they can be sold for less than what it would cost to make new ones. Since manufacturers will have to run less by recycling ink cartridges, they will add less pollution to the environment.
  • Occasionally toners are found to contain small traces of ingredients like naphtha, which is much more toxic if directly inhaled over a long period. While the regular use of toner poses no real danger to users, these are chemicals harmful to the environment in large quantities.
  • Carbon black (toner) has been classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for research on cancer.
  • Recycling cartridges helps prevent hundred of pounds worth of waste from sitting in landfills over long periods of time.
  • If not recycled and just thrown away, the cartridges eventually pollute our soil and water once they reach the landfills.

Have you ever thought what makes up your printer cartridge? The packaging comes from timber, the plastic is from the world’s supply of crude oil, and steel is from iron ore etc. This is a big waste of fossil fuels and raw materials. Since plastics have been around for a relatively small time in the grand scheme of things, people are beginning to worry with the amount of plastics contained in landfill sites – space is becoming an issue.


When all this waste is dumped, it doesn’t sit there – it is interacted with, and also interacts. Not only does wildlife mistake plastics for food, but it can destroy their natural habitats also. Water can also become contaminated by the ink cartridges and also poison the soil, effectively destroying the ecosystem for generations. With materials from printer cartridges not being biodegradable, the surrounding ecosystem, both flora and fauna, will not have a future.

If we don’t act quickly, we will be punishing future generations of children for years to come. It may not seem at the moment like the world has a massive problem, but if in 450 years’ time and we carry on the way we currently are… there is little hope for us. Animals with become extinct, ground will become unusable , water will become contaminated and space will run out – it’s slightly reminiscent of a dark, dank dystopic world we see in films all the time.

Don’t waste anymore time and get involved!! Be the Change you want to see😊❤

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