Now that we are in the 21st century, the impact of the activities that have taken place across the world is now evident in the environment. Every action that has been taken by human beings over the years has affected the environment we live in, and largely in a negative way. The world is reaching such a critical stage that is needs to reduce waste, use its resources more efficiently and develop more sustainable products.
Printer cartridge recycling is fast gaining momentum and it is easy to see that recycling a printer cartridge will have infinitely more positive benefits that negative impacts. It is also easy to see why recycling these cartridges can have far reaching effects on the environment, as out of the 24m households that now have a home computer, over 905 also have a printer.
If an average uses even just 2-3 cartridges per year, the number used goes in to many millions. This is surely enough proof that recycling printer cartridges can also save millions of pounds as no new cartridges will need to be created, and the burden on our ever dwindling supply of natural resources will be eased considerably.
Dumping our waste into landfill sites is one of the oldest, and most popular, methods of waste disposal. These sites, however, then result in pollution by contaminating ground waters, emitting greenhouse gasses and spreading diseases to areas close by. According to UKCRA, the UK Cartridge Remanufacturers Association, around 55m used cartridges end up in landfill sites, which is putting even more pressure on our fragile environment.
Printer cartridge recycling essentially encourages users to reuse the same cartridge, instead of throwing them away and buying new ones. Whilst recycling these printer cartridges may be just a drop in the ocean as far as saving the environment is concerned, by just recycling half the amount we currently throw away will see positive and visible effects on the environment.
The United Kingdom, now also has to follow the EU landfill directive on preventing or reducing the negative impacts on the environment during the life-cycle of landfills. So recycling used toner cartridges can also play a role in fulfilling the aims of the Directive.
At the minute, over 65m cartridges are sold every year in the UK yet only 15% are currently recycles. The plastic that goes to make the components of the cartridges is manufactured using polymers, and due to the molecular construction, it can take a single cartridge over 1000 years to decompose. Keep that in mind next time you go to drop your used cartridge in the bin.