Green Printing Initiatives : How Far Have We Gone?

Look around, test the waters and consumers will know that the drive to be green or environment conscious is not just a fad but has evolved subconsciously as a way of life. A proof of this is that around 20% of Americans in one way or another are involved in environmental protection groups and only buy products manufactured according to green standards. The affordability (cost) of the product is no longer the redeeming factor, but products that can be recycled and are biodegradable seem to factor in consistently in the consumer’s mindset.

Toner and Ink Cartridges Disposal

One of the most under attended accessory are the old ink/toner cartridges, the waste products of businesses that has caught the fancy of environmentalists as the pile of e-garbage has continued to rise at dangerous levels. Considering that these plastic cartridges can only start to decompose after a thousand years, particular attention is finally in high gear to find practical solutions to dispose ink and toner cartridges without its relative effect to the environment. As over 200 million of these cartridges are disposed annually across the United States, the e-waste will be untenable if nothing concrete is done urgently about it starting today.

Recycling Toner and Ink Cartridges

The environmental benefit culled from recycling ink and toner cartridges is substantial and in fact prompted the State of California to mandate recycling initiatives the SABRC (State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign) requires government agencies to procure compatible and recycled toner cartridges in addition to products now essentially on the list. However, not all ink and toner cartridges can be recycled (due to restrictions imposed by printer manufacturers on OEM cartridges) and only popular printers can be supplied with compatible toner cartridges, depending on the supply demand or popularity of a printer accessory.

Refilling Ink and Toner Cartridges

In the absence of OEM and compatible toner cartridges, users have no other option left but to institute ink/toner refills on the empty cartridges. This is a very effective recycling system that can extend the printing capacity of a cartridge up to over four times its intended lifetime. Thus by means of ink or toner refills (which is really cheap compared to other printer consumables), users significantly contribute to the upkeep of the environment by delaying the eventual disposal of the cartridges, aside from raking in substantial savings.

The modern day consumer mindset is driven towards product preference; thus becoming green or environment friendly is no longer a relevant social movement but is now a way of life.

Credit: freeimages.com

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