It is obvious that recycling is a good thing, yet so many people don’t do it. The extra effort is minimal considering the countless advantages. The environment is not the only thing that will benefit from recycling, and perhaps that is what so many Americans have failed to realize. Is Global Warming something to be concerned about? Sure. But if it is not affecting our present lives, many people are uninterested. Perhaps the solution is to understand the importance of recycling ink cartridges in a way that seems relevant to each individual.
A large percentage of people in the world have an inkjet printer. (Most personal and photo printers are of the inkjet variety, as laser printers are specifically designed for daily office use). Someone with average usage requirements for an inkjet printer will purchase 2-6 ink cartridges per year. It is estimated that approximately 500,000 ink cartridges are sold each year in the United States and only 20-30% of those are recycled. This equates to approximately 300-350 million ink cartridges made primarily of recyclable material that are thrown away like garbage.
Oil is important, right? It impacts the cost of the gas we use to get around. It is a political debate topic in elections. It is a factor in the wars we send our soldiers to. Well, each new ink cartridge is made with approximately 3.5 ounces of oil. So, in the gorgeous landfills that take up nearly 600,000 acres of American land, approximately 8.2 million gallons of oil is wasted every single year.
Ink cartridges are made of plastic, which can be reused over and over. Yet, every second in the USA about 13 ink cartridges are thrown in the garbage. If all ink cartridges were recycled and remanufactured, the cost of them would drop tremendously, probably by more than half the price. Rather than paying $35 for a replacement HP 96 ink cartridge, you would pay $9 for a remanufactured version. Additionally, some office supply companies will offer small in-store credits if you bring in your used ink cartridges to be recycled. THIS AFFECTS YOU DIRECTLY.
Approximately 1.8 billion cartridges have been wasted and there is nothing that can be done about that. But there certainly is something that can be done about that number of recyclable ink cartridges that will live in the landfills our children inherit. Recycle the ink cartridges you have and purchase remanufactured replacement ink cartridges. Share the knowledge you have gained here and endorse companies that offer recycling programs. It will make a difference.