How many of you Blog readers actually recycle your printer ink cartridges? Come on hands up!
Not many of you, we suspect.
Many of us are guilty of throwing our empty ink cartridges, discarding them to the bin as a useless item, as soon as we purchase some new cartridges.
You’ve no doubt seen the recycling symbol on packs of ink cartridges and you may have briefly glanced at the manufacturers recycling program, when looking through the instruction pamphlet. What you may have not understood fully when looking at the manufacturer’s literature, is that many of their recycling programs are easy to participate in and are often free. You may also find that they have an ink buying program that goes hand in hand with their recycling program, meaning that recycling ink cartridges is something that barely even takes a second thought.
In the grand scheme of things, a lot of people may think that a small plastic ink cartridge wouldn’t have a big impact on the environment. However, if you consider that HP’s program has been in place since 1991 and has recycled enough cartridges to circle the earth 2.3 times, then you will realise how important it is to recycle, each and every ink cartridge.
HP also uses recycled plastic from water bottles and coat hangers to make new ink cartridges. By doing this they have kept 2.5 billion bottles away from the worlds landfills.
Let’s take a look at two manufacturers who have easy to use recycling programs.
HP’s Recycling Program
HP has two options for recycling and buying ink.
You can purchase and recycle on a case-by-case basis. You can go to the HP website and print off prepaid shipping labels, which you can use to send off your ink cartridges for recycling. All you have to do is put them in an envelope, attach the label and drop them in the nearest post box.
If you want to be more organised, HP have something called the Instant Ink Program. There are three monthly plans available, which have been designed to suit the amount of printing you do on a monthly basis. Once your ink begins to run out, ink is automatically ordered and delivered to your door, ensuring that you never run out. With this delivery you also receive prepaid envelopes to send back your old cartridges for recycling.
Brother’s Recycling Program
Brother gives its customers a link to their website, where you can generate a return shipping label, to print out. It is suggested that you use the packaging that came with the ink cartridge to send it back in, so you don’t have to purchase any extra items to package up your products. Many of Brothers toner cartridges come with labels for sending back old ones.
Think Before You Throw Away
Ink cartridge manufacturers like HP and Brother make it easy to recycle used ink, but unfortunately it can be a little more difficult to do with other companies.
Even if some companies do make recycling ink cartridges more challenging than others, you should still look into possible ways of recycling your unwanted empty cartridges, especially if you have an environmental conscience.
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