Ink cartridges: Recycle and reuse for a greener future

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Ink cartridges, you know, those small, plastic containers we throw out without giving much thought to. In South Africa alone, an estimated 11 million cartridges are sold every year and only about 30% of these are recycled. The other 70% that end up in landfills can fill 35 forty foot shipping containers!

It turns out that ink cartridges are really harmful to the environment, taking around 1000 years to decompose. Furthermore, the plastic they are made of is manufactured using an estimated two litres of crude oil per cartridge, which is a dangerous waste considering crude oil is a nonrenewable resource. The good news is that ink cartridges can be used again and again. Toner and ink cartridges are primarily made of plastic, so recycling cartridges can save over 40 million litres of oil every year.

Still wondering why you should recycle your ink and toner cartridges? Let’s take a look at the reasons why in more detail.

Ink cartridges: The impact of wastage

Ink cartridges are a major culprit of environmental damage, especially once they reach landfill sites. They leak toxic chemicals and hazardous waste materials into the soil, causing alarming damage to the ecosystem. In fact, it is estimated that every laser printer is responsible for around 45 kilograms of waste every year, the bulk of which is from cartridges.

Fortunately, this does not mean that all printing is bad and that we should completely steer away from putting ink to paper via printer! It is possible to be a responsible printer-owner, considering the environment and at the same time, reaping the benefits of lower printing costs.

Reusing or recycling used ink cartridges can make a significant difference and lighten the load carried by the environment. Reusing your empty ink cartridges keeps them out of landfill sites, and also requires fewer cartridges to be manufactured on an ongoing basis. If everyone reused their cartridges, there would only need to exist as many cartridges as there are printers plus some extra. This would keep them away from our delicate ecosystems, simultaneously conserving one of our nonrenewable resources, crude oil.

How to switch to greener care with your “everyday” ink cartridges

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Recycle your ink cartridges

Every time a cartridge of ink is manufactured it leaves a carbon footprint of around 4.5kg of CO2. This brings to our attention how important recycling is in this industry, especially considering that only around 30% of ink cartridges are ever recycled, the rest are simply sent off to landfill sites and new ones are paid for without a second thought. At The Inky Shop, we encourage all of our customers to bring in their old cartridges to be refilled or replaced with alternative cartridges at a cost saving of up to 75%. You can buy your new or refilled ink cartridges with a clean conscience once you recycle your used ink cartridges. Not only does this greatly benefit the environment but it also saves your pocket! Especially if you are a frequent printer!

Refill your ink cartridges

Reusing your ink cartridges is an extremely cost effective way of printing, with a price tag that is equal to a fraction of a whole new ink cartridge. Many people assume that they need a new ink cartridge with each refill, which would be the same as assuming you need a new bathtub each time you want to have a bath filled with water. Talk about throwing the bath out with the bathwater.

Refilling your used cartridges is even more cost effective than recycling them. You can have a professional refill done for you at a place like The Inky Shop. Refills are surprisingly technical, and a refilled cartridge that is not correctly done can result in a range of problems, from strangely coloured prints to hardware damage to your printer. The Inky Shop uses premium quality German inks for all of their ink cartridge refills. Their refills are guaranteed 100% compatible with your printer cartridge, which extends the longevity of the cartridge and produces the highest quality prints that match the originals. Refills at The Inky Shop are also endorsed with a 100% money-back guarantee!

Getting your cartridges refilled is convenient, easy, and extremely budget-friendly! Eventually, your cartridges will reach a point at which they can no longer be refilled. Simply bring them into The Inky Shop for recycling, and buy yourself alternative cartridges at a fraction of the cost of the new ones and continue having them refilled for the duration of their lives.

Can one person make a difference?

Saving the earth feels like an enormous responsibility for one person to undertake or even think about, it may feel so overwhelming that it becomes easier to ignore the problem altogether.

The truth is that saving our natural ecosystems from ink cartridge litter requires minimal effort, and by simply recycling or reusing your ink cartridges you are making a massive impact. Believe it! If one person reuses or recycles their used ink cartridges it saves an estimated 45 kgs of hazardous waste per year. That could be you!

The best part is that it doesn’t cost you anything extra, it saves you money. It doesn’t require you to go out of your way, simply pop into The Inky Shop! You only have to be informed and know what to ask for.

Need more printing tips? Visit us at The Inky Shop, we would love to hear from you! Find a store near you.