In this article we look at Canon's Plastic Recycling efforts...
Whether at home or at work, the printer has become a common item found in either and, even with the advent of electronic documents and data sharing, printing to share information is not in decline. However this also means that neither is the environmental impact they cause when they become waste, in fact the issues caused by disposing of printer cartridges is only getting worse.
The majority of homes have a printer these days (over 90%) and on average uses three cartridges every year. When we look to the work place this number dramatically increases and yet only a fraction of the 65 million cartridges sold in the UK are recycled. The rest are often taken to landfill instead of recycling the plastics and, considering they can take up to 1000 years to degrade, this is a growing concern.
However there are many companies out there focusing on improving their plastic recycling and ensuring that they’re doing their bit to reduce the impact printer cartridges have on the environment. Canon, the camera company, offer a ‘takeback’ scheme for their cartridges in which they promise that, if sent back through the scheme, no cartridge will be sent to landfill. Moreover this allows them to recycle some of the materials and parts to become part of the production of new cartridges, reducing the energy and environmental impact as well as cost.
With today’s technology ink cartridges are 90% recyclable (sometimes they can be reused straight away meaning 100% of the material is recycled) and often the materials gained can help to make other products like toys and furniture. Even the parts that can’t be recycled are usually consumed for energy recovery. This ensures that companies like Canon have no need to send the cartridge to landfill and that the company assumes all responsibility for their waste.
By Benjamin Rushton