What’s the Deal With Recycled Ink Cartridges?

collection of recycling ink cartridges and boxes

Recycled ink cartridges are becoming a more popular and practical way for many office equipment companies and workplaces to help reduce their environmental impact.

Some of the industry’s biggest players are getting involved in producing and coming up with more eco-friendly office equipment. Recycling is a natural step and something that can be implemented at any level, whether you are a small business or a major corporation.

Here’s the deal with recycled ink cartridges, and why you should reconsider the way you dispose of your own ink both in the workplace and at home.


How it Works

When you bring back your empty ink cartridges to a participating location, such as an office supply or automation store, they will generally give you a store credit. Then, they’ll send the cartridges back to the manufacturer.

The manufacturer will sort through the cartridges, separating materials and breaking them down. Once they’re broken down or shredded, they are blended with new materials to create new cartridges. Those cartridges are then filled and shipped to your local retail store.

Some locations also offer ink cartridge refilling services, such as Staples and Costco. This can often be more cost efficient than buying a brand new ink package and can help reduce packaging.


HP’s Efforts to “Close the Loop”

One of the industry leaders in the ink and printing industry, HP has an established recycling program they call the “Closed Loop” program. Through this program, they collect and recycle used ink cartridges and ensure that they don’t end up in landfills.

HP recently announced that, within the last year, they have diverted 170 tonnes of plastic from making it to the oceans by reusing it to make ink cartridges. As a result 80% of all HP ink cartridges now contain up to 70% recycled content. Additionally, other types of HP ink products also contain varying levels of recycled content, such as their toner and even some of their photo printers.


Using Recycled Ink Cartridges in Your Office

The environmental impact of office equipment can be reduced by getting involved in using recycled ink cartridges. Simply properly disposing of your ink cartridges can help you reduce your impact, as doing so can help ensure those cartridges are returned and reused.

Recycling can also save you money since you can receive store credit for bringing your used cartridges to participating locations. This goes for refilling your ink, too.


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