As we have stepped into the 21st century, the impact of the world’s activities now has to be assessed in light of the environment. Every action taken by human beings, affects the environment around them; mostly in a negative way. The world now needs to adopt methods whereby they reduce waste, use their resources in a more efficient manner and develop products that are sustainable. Hence, printer cartridge recycling is now picking up steam. It is very easy to gauge, that printer cartridge recycling has more benefits than negative impacts.
The reason that printer cartridge recycling can have far reaching effects for the environment are because at least 90% out of 24 million that have computers at home also possess a printer. On average if a household uses 2-3 cartridges annually, that takes the number of cartridges used in a year into the millions. This is proof enough that recycling cartridges can save millions of pounds as no new cartridges would have to be created and the burden on the dwindling natural resources can be eased considerably.
Printer Cartridge Recycling Prevents Landfilling
Dumping waste in landfill sites is considered one of the oldest methods of waste disposal. These sites result in pollution through contamination of ground waters, emission of greenhouse gases and spreading diseases to nearby areas. According to the UK Cartridge Remanufacturers Association (UKCRA), around 55 million used cartridges end up in landfills, thereby putting further pressure on the environment. Essentially printer cartridge recycling encourages people to use the same cartridge again rather than throwing these old cartridges into landfills and buying new ones. Recycling printer cartridges may just be a drop in the ocean, but if we can even save half of this number from ending up in landfill sites, the positive effects on the environment will begin to show.
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.
Printer Cartridge Recycling Prevents Issues Related To Decomposition
It is a startling fact that 65 million cartridges are sold in the United Kingdom and only 15% are recycled. The components of cartridges are made from plastic and that plastic is manufactured using engineering grade polymers. These polymers consist of chains of molecules that are held together by units of carbon atoms. The result is that they cannot be broken down into smaller components for decomposition. That means it will take approximately 1000 years for just one cartridge to decompose. As a result, any leftover ink could seep into the ground, contaminating it and polluting the environment.
If printer cartridge recycling is encouraged, then environmentalists would not have to worry about decomposition and its effects, as most cartridges would be in use again. Many supermarkets have started to use bio-degradable plastic to make their shopping bags, however this does not apply to cartridges as yet. Till such time, to help maintain the fragile balance of the environment, it is best to start printer cartridge recycling.
Printer Cartridge Recycling Saves Depleting Natural Resources
With the price of oil in the international market constantly on the rise, the cost of making new cartridges goes up as well. It takes about 3 pints of oil to make a new printer cartridge, which roughly translates to a whole barrel of oil used to create 50 cartridges. By printer cartridge recycling, you are actually saving oil reserves and they can be diverted for more important tasks. Other resources that go into the making of these cartridges include plastic, aluminum, natural gas, rubber and timber to name a few.
It is a known fact that timber reserves are diminishing due to massive deforestation to be used for commercial purposes. Hence, by printer cartridge recycling, fewer trees would be cut down thereby increasing the oxygen levels around the world. Similarly, natural gas is found under the surface of the earth, as a result it has to be imported from countries where natural gas reserves have been discovered. Printer cartridge recycling use about 97% recycled components; hence all such reserves can be used for more pressing industries.
Recycling cartridges has become an essential feature in the process of recycling to save the environment. On a daily basis, the environment is subjected to abuse, hence more attention needs to be paid to curb the damage before it gets out of hand. Recycling toner/inkjet cartridges is the simplest way to get started towards achieving the goal of a sustainable and green environment.