Recycling printer and ink cartridges saves 40,000 tons of plastic and metal from landfills each year in North America. Even more beneficial than recycling used cartridges is reusing and refilling them multiple times before they are recycled. A nearly sustainable sub-industry has emerged around this very process from both local and national US companies.
Facts About Printer & Ink Cartridge Recycling
- Approximately 70 percent of all ink and 50 percent of all toner cartridges are still not recycled.
- The plastics used in printer cartridges have a very slow decomposing rate of 450 to 1000 years, depending on the cartridge type.
- Printing ink, especially carbon black (toner), is extremely harmful to the environment and has been classified as a carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- Oil is a major component in producing new laser printing and inkjet cartridges. Ink cartridge recycling saves an estimated 11 million gallons of ink every seven months.
Printer cartridges can be refilled up to 15 times before needing to be recycled and then up to 97 percent of the materials in the cartridge can be recycled or reused. The environmental and financial benefits of recycling these items are extremely great.
For more information on where you can recycle printer and ink cartridges, check out our Where Can I Recycle page.