What is Ethical Recycling and How Can It Help?
By Simon Williams - 2nd Feb 2017

Protecting the environment is a huge ethical issue, one that everyone has a responsibility to get involved in. Recycling properly and following the correct guidelines is a vital part of doing your bit in the most ethical way; something as simple as putting your materials in the correct recycling bins is already a step in the right direction. 

 This is fine for waste products made from one material. But waste products made from a variety of materials, such as printer cartridges, pose a problem because they are made from a variety of materials. They need to be broken down and each of the materials separated for recycling.

This is obviously a more expensive process and the Original Cartridge manufacturers, the ones who also made your printer, pay for their products to be ethically recycled. Compatible cartridge manufacturers make no such commitment.

Because of the commitment to the environment from the Original Printer cartridge manufacturers  is one of the reasons that Cartridges Direct supply only their products.

This is the start of ethical recycling. Waste Transfer Stations are not equipped for this task as it is expensive and time consuming. Putting products such as this in the recycling bin means that they go the waste transfer station who then put them in the ‘too hard basket’ or landfill.

Another part of ethical recycling is that the whole product can be recycled and used to create something else. For example, all original printer cartridges can be ethically recycled through collection programs, with the various materials being recovered and reused to make new products across different industries. But why should you get involved?

Reducing the landfills

Around 85% of printer cartridges end up in the landfill, meaning only a tiny 15% of cartridges are properly recycled. It can take anywhere between 400 and 1000 years for a printer cartridge to degrade in a landfill, causing a massive negative impact on the environment in the meantime.

Ink cartridges that end up in the landfill contribute to a number of worrying factors, including global warming and carcinogens. Just as important it means that the various materials used to make the printer cartridge can be reapplied in new products. This reduces our reliance on the diminishing supply non-renewable resources such as ores and oils. Reapplying already produced materials also reduces CO2 emissions created during the refining and manufacturing process of new materials.

Understanding this means that you are able to find out what you can do to help! Many people may throw away their printer cartridges without realising that they can be fully recycled.

Ethical recycling schemes

Participating in an ethical recycling scheme is the best way to prevent ink cartridges from ending up in the landfill. Our aim, over the next 5 years, is to prevent 3 million ink cartridges from ending up in a landfill!

There are many recycling schemes across the country that create zero waste in the process. Likewise, there are hundreds of collection programs that allow you to start the process of recycling your cartridges in a hassle-free, convenient way. Our main aim to make 100% of all eligible printer cartridges go through the ethical recycling process, instead of being mindlessly thrown away.

Closing the loop

The process of recycling items such as printer cartridges is known as closed loop recycling. This is where the waste is collected, recycled and then used to make new products. Closed loop recycling can be as complex as weaving the likes of plastic bottles into polyester to make clothing, or it can be as simple as using recycled aluminium into cans.

When it comes to printer cartridges, everything can be recycled including toner powder, metal, plastic and ink. So, next time you’ve finished with your printer cartridges, remember the huge difference between throwing it away and ethically recycling it!

Explore Popular Articles