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Biophile Magazine -- » Printer cartidges and the environment

"One of the greatest surprises you'll experience, is when you discover that you can do what you were afraid you couldn't do.
Your obstacles will melt away, if instead of cowering before them, you make up your mind to walk boldly through them." Daily Guru

Printer cartidges and the environment

by Robert Squire

FILED IN: Ethical Consumerism · Issue 19


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Now I must be honest with you from the get go. I have never been too concerned with how my actions would effect the environment. Let me rephrase that, what I am trying to say is that, like most people, I have gone through life so far without making a conscious effort to protect the environment.

All of that changed recently, and funnily enough it came about when I changed jobs – surprising when you find out that I am in Marketing. I recently began working for a friend at a company called The Green Cartridge Company. While trying to find a way to market his product, I began questioning him about his product to try and find out what we could use to differentiate his product from that of his competitors. He began to explain to me that the company had been called The Green Cartridge Company because the aim was to protect the environment, while at the same time saving his customers money.

(Now please don’t misinterpret this article, I am not trying to hard sell products for The Green Cartridge Company, but rather I am trying to make people aware of the impact that printer cartridges can have on the environment if not disposed of correctly.)

Upon hearing this from my friend I immediately set to work, and began researching the impact that printer cartridges could have on the environment – to put it lightly I was shocked at the results. Here are just some of the results that I found.

(Please note that these are the results of a study conducted in America and Canada. Keep in mind that these two countries are well known for their recycling procedures and awareness.)

• There are more than one million printer cartridges used in Canada each year, and only 10% of these are recycled.

• As of 1999, America was only recycling 5% of their printer cartridges.

• These means that roughly 90% of the printer cartridges used in these countries are ending up in landfills. Now comes the interesting part:

• The plastic used in these cartridges takes over 1000 years to decompose.

• It takes 3.4 liters of oil to manufacture a new printer cartridge.

• In 12 months, cartridge recycling could save 4.3 million liters of oil in a country of 22 million people.

•And finally, if the cartridges thrown away in America, in one year, were to be stacked end to end, they would cover a distance of 38,000km. This is enough to circle the earth.

Source: www.thinkfood. com/en/atp-environement.html

Now I understand that with the many similar crises that the world faces this may seem like a seemingly small problem. But just think about it for a moment. Nearly every person in the world uses printer cartridges, be it a young child printing the picture that they have just drawn on the computer, to the large corporate that prints thousands of pages every day. And what seems so unfortunate about this problem is that it has a simple fix, and one that is not time consuming for the user.

I was reading an article the other day and in it, it said “The earth’s natural resources are being consumed at a rate that reinforces the idea that we are living for today and the future generations will be paying for the consequences”. Is this really the legacy that we want to leave behind for future generations?

So I would like to stress that many organizations, like The Green Cartridge Company offer a printer cartridge recycling service. The Green Cartridge Company offers a service whereby we will collect our client’s empty cartridges and use them to remanufacture new ones, or we will buy back your old cartridges. These remanufactured cartridges are then resold and are not nearly as expensive as a new cartridge.

So, by simply recycling your old cartridges you are creating two ways in which your company can save money, and more importantly you will be doing your bit to help the environment.

For more information contact The Green Cartridge Company on (011) 450 2110

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1 Comment »

  1. I agree with the article, but could not help the strong advertorial for TGCC. Also the OEM do not want you to now this.

    Comment by Gary

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