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Can Original Printer Cartridges reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources?

Can Original Printer Cartridges reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources?
By Simon Williams
January 30, 2018

When purchasing a printer cartridge for your office or home printing needs, the things that will usually come to mind are how much is it and how many pages will it print.These are important for managing cost,.but the other factor that cannot be ignored is the cost to the environment.


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This is where there is a major difference between the Original Printer Cartridge Manufacturers and the compatibles. The Original Printer Cartridge Manufacturers put their money where their mouth is rather than just paying lip service as the compatible manufacturers do. They do this by subsidising the cost of ethical recycling whereas the compatible manufacturers contribute nothing.

Organisations such as Cartridges 4 Planet Ark have been doing a lot to raise the awareness and lower the impact that used ink and toner cartridges have on the environment. Making the right choice is a simple one and should be done every time, but in order for this to happen, people need to be aware of the ‘real costs and benefits’ when purchasing genuine and non-genuine ink and printer cartridges.

Original Printer Cartridge manufacturers invest in a circular economic model.

Original Printer Cartridge manufacturers such as HP and Canon invest significant amounts of money to develop a process beyond the product’s intended working life. Investments in more sustainable materials and partnerships with ethical recyclers have reduced the environmental impact of their products. Reusing existing materials reduces reliance on diminishing non-renewable resources. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions as creating new materials is a major pollutant. This is known as The Circular Economy. Manufacturers of non-genuine ink cartridges pocket their profits and don’t invest in developing a circular environmental model.

Ethical printer cartridge recyclers minimise their environmental impact.

The other challenge is for these manufacturers to partner with recyclers that are ethical. They want to know that once the cartridge reaches the end of its life, that it will be shipped to an organisation that will breakdown the materials and reuse them in future cartridges or the development of new products.

Although many recyclers may brand themselves as being ethical, corporate greed can often taint their original intentions and they implement procedures that actually cause more harm to the environment, unbeknown to the original recycler.

You can see how unethical recyclers take advantage of this economically by this video below.

How can this risk be minimised?

You can easily recycle your Original Printer cartridges with suppliers or official partners of Cartridges 4 Planet Ark. Cartridges Direct offers this service with every printer cartridge purchase. There are also drop-off bins located in Australia Post stores.

What can be expected once the used printer cartridge gets forwarded to an ethical recycler?

Used printer cartridges are broken down and separated into metals, plastics toner and inks, so they can be used to create other products. For example, materials in used toner cartridges are being used to create roads (see the article in the Sydney Morning Herald). Organisation ‘Close the loop’ describe how they coordinate the creation of recycled pens and ewood as a result of harvesting the raw materials from used ink cartridges. They also document the savings in carbon emissions as a result of harvesting materials from used ink cartridges. Close the Loop have adopted, and stick to, a zero waste policy with nothing going to landfill but every part continuing to have a use.

Before purchasing your next printer cartridge, think twice about the environmental impact that this can have and what the true cost might be beyond the immediate financial impact to your household or business.