Sadly, 85% of the estimated 65 million cartridges sold in the UK each year are disposed of with regular rubbish and sent off to landfill where they will take anything up to 1000 years to biodegrade.
How does your business dispose of its unwanted ink cartridges? Recycling your unwanted cartridges instead of binning them really could not be easier and there are lots of companies and charities based in the UK who are more than willing to take them off your hands.
Ink cartridges are manufactured using engineering grade polymers, which is why they take so many years to break down. This high quality plastic product can be successfully refurbished and reused up to six times as a new cartridge.
Sending such a valuable and useful waste item to landfill makes no sense at all!
How To Recycle Your Waste Cartridges
The way you choose to recycle your cartridges will largely depend on the quantity you produce, but the options include:
• Local collection points at schools, churches and libraries – support local organisations by using their collection points and enabling them to raise funds by recycling them
• Freepost services – generate additional revenue or help to raise funds for a charity or good cause by posting your cartridges free of charge to any one of the companies that offer this service.
• Returns to manufacturer – most manufacturers accept returns of their used cartridges and many provide a freepost envelope or label within their original packaging. Having produced the original item, they are in the best position to process it.
• Return to your supplier – check with your retailer or supplier. Most will happy accept returns of used cartridges.
• Direct to a charity – the British Red Cross and many other charities that operate with limited funds would be happy to accept your used cartridges. Helping to raise money for a cause that is close to your heart at the same time as doing something good for the environment will give you a double dose of feel good!
Cartridges are worth anything up to £2 each, depending on the type and condition.
What Happens To Your Recycled Cartridges?
Providing they are undamaged, the majority of cartridges are remanufactured and resold.
Damaged cartridges are broken down so that their raw component parts can be recycled in various waste streams and diverted from landfill.
How To Package Your Unwanted Cartridges
If you are still in possession of the original packaging that you received your cartridges in as new, this is the ideal protection for them prior to collection. Packaging them well is crucial because undamaged items can be reused.
Place the used cartridges into their original boxes and seal them securely with tape. If you no longer have the original boxes, seek advice from the company you have chosen to recycle them with for advice; many companies will supply you with collection sacks or boxes on request.
Packaging your used cartridges correctly may take a bit of time, but considering their primal value is in reuse, this time is well spent as it benefits the environment and increases the revenue that can be generated from this waste product.
A Great Opportunity To Boost Your Businesses Green Credentials
No matter how green your business is already, there is always room for improvement! Whether you go through five cartridges a year, or five hundred, recycling this waste product responsibly rather than binning it, gives you a great opportunity to do something positive for the environment.
Whilst boosting your green credentials, at the same time you can generate a bit of extra cash, to give your business, a charity or an organisation of your choice an extra financial boost…
Whatever you decide to do with your cartridges, make sure you divert this useful resource from landfill.