The Environmental Impact of Ink Cartridges

May 27, 2020

Recycled ink cartrigdes

2020 is the year that we're getting into a more serious era of environmental accountability. You might have noticed how plastic bags and plastic straws are slowly being phased out of commercial businesses. Bringing your own reusable tote bag to the grocery store may seem inconsequential, but it dramatically reduces the amount of plastic waste that goes back into landfills daily. It looks like we're doing everything to reduce our carbon footprint, especially in subtle ways.

The United States is the second-largest contributor to C02 emissions as of 2017. While you may be thinking that plastic pollution has nothing to do with Carbon Dioxide emissions, keep in mind that six times more plastic waste is burned rather than recycled. On the verge of a plastic overload, making conscientious decisions in your purchasing habits goes a long way. 

But what about printer cartridges? That sounds like a trivial subject to be fixated on, but printer cartridges have a long history of contributing to the plastic crisis. What many people do not know is that those cartridges can be recycled. There are over 375 million ink cartridges that end up in a landfill every single year. You can reduce this amount by being informed about the second life that can be given to them by recycling. 

Remanufactured ink cartridges

Remanufactured Cartridges

The little known fact about printer cartridges is that they're able to take on new forms after being consumed. As the ink is drained and the cartridge is completely empty, the plastic casing is still perfectly fine and can be used again in the future. Many people assume that the ink cartridges are toxic materials and must be disposed of after just one use, but this is far from the truth.

By using recycled ink cartridge casings, companies are able to breathe new life into old cartridges. These empty cartridge shells are professionally cleaned out to remove any excess or dried ink from the interior. Once cleaned, they are then inspected by top tier professionals to determine if they are fully functional. As a final step, the fully operational ink cartridges are refilled with ink that is comparable to the name brand in quality before they are sealed up and sent off for one final inspection. 

The finishing assessment makes sure that the remanufactured cartridge will work completely fine in all aspects, from ink flow to ink consistency. As a comparable alternative to name-brand cartridges, the benefits of using remanufactured printer cartridges go way beyond just the environmental aspects. Remanufactured cartridges also can cost 50%-80% less than full-priced brand name printer cartridges. This is a double win since you can feel good about saving the environment and saving the money in your pocket.

Corporate environmental resposibility

Corporate Environmental Responsibility

Eco-Friendly, green, and sustainable are words that we hear thrown around all the time in regards to environmental conservation. Large corporations have full-fledged teams dedicated to reducing their waste and boosting their public awareness at the same time. 

Corporate environmental responsibility (CER) is the act of a business that is proactively doing its part to reduce waste and keep their carbon footprint to a minimum. As a business owner, this can be a defining factor in branding. Conglomerates like McDonald's, The Coca-Cola Company, and Aramark have all echoed the sentiment and have pledged to reduce their single-use plastics. 

Going green and reducing plastic usage is not only beneficial to your company but also leaves a lasting impression on your customers. Some ink manufacturers have taken advantage of this environmentally friendly aspect and have brought to light new services. HP Instant Ink is a subscription-based service that uses recycled cartridges to resupply its customers on a timely basis. Epson has the Epson EcoTank, which is a refillable cartridge system that works with specific Epson printers. And finally, as mentioned before, the most prevalent and cost-effective method is purchasing remanufactured cartridges.

Single use items

Single-Use Waste

Reusable items have been increasing in popularity over the past years. While we do rely on disposable plastic goods such as water bottles, pens, and plastic bags, we continue to innovate and find space to manufacture reusable items. While there is no way to guarantee that the ink cartridge will be 100% recyclable, you can extend its life cycle by recycling it so it may be remanufactured again in the future.

Although the remanufacturing process may give a cartridge a second life, that does not mean that the cartridge can last forever or can be infinitely refilled. Ink and toner cartridges do have a finite lifespan, usually good for around two to three refills. Any more than this can lead to a faulty ink cartridge that is riddled with internal problems that will affect the way it produces ink on paper.

Remanufactured cartridges go through such a rigorous testing process to ensure that they function flawlessly and as if they were brand new. Some internal components, especially in toner cartridges, will eventually break down and cease to work after a certain period. Some toner cartridges have roller units that degrade and lose their charge. This strict testing process will weed out the deteriorated ink and toner cartridges and make sure that they are never put in the hands of the consumer.

Everything we do to conserve plastic can be done to conserve ink cartridges as well. Even if cartridges are reused a single time, that can cut the amount of plastic waste down by 50%. Around 375 million printer cartridges end up in a landfill every year, by doing your part and purchasing remanufactured ink cartridges, you can directly affect the production of new ink cartridges.

Here at 1ink we specialize in premium-quality remanufactured ink and toner cartridges. All products are carefully tested, guaranteed to be compatible with your printer, and produce print results identical to their OEM counterparts. A 1-year warranty and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee are also offered on all products. We carry discount Canon printer ink and other popular brands such as HP, Epson, Lexmark, and many more. Checkout out our website and see how much you can save on your printer ink supplies while helping keep a greener planet.