Beyond the metals and plastic that take many centuries to decompose, printer cartridges are manufactured using many resources that are harmful to the environment. This includes toxic chemical compounds such as butyl urea, cyclohexanone, several dyes including reactive red 23 dye, acid yellow 23 dye and direct blue 199 dye, which contains sulphur; ethoxylated acetylenic and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) which is full of contaminants and ethylene glycol. Additionally, the Carbon Black used in toners is recognised by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a known carcinogen.
A majority of these cartridges go to landfill, where they will take an innumerable amount of time to decompose, and the chemical compounds that make up the contents will pollute the soil and water in the surrounding area.
Even outside of landfill, a large proportion of cartridges are shipped to other countries such as China to be incinerated or dissolved, leaving behind the metals used to make them. This process pollutes the local air, soil and groundwater, severely harming the local wildlife and human population.
Another huge factor to take into account with non-recycled cartridges is the manufacturing process. Approximately 3.4 litres of oil are burned in the production of a single new toner cartridge, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere by the kilogram.
The metals and polymers used to produce the massive volume of cartridges we use include manganese, silicon, nickel, chromium, zinc, and tin, all of which are rapidly declining resources that add to the CO2 output with the mining or refining process respectively.
80% of all printer toner and ink cartridges go directly to landfill.
Under WEEE guidelines laser toner consumables containing toner powder are classed as hazardous waste. That means you must recycle them properly. The typical used toner cartridge weighs about 1.4kg and is composed of 40% plastic, 40% metal, and smaller percentages of rubber, paper, foam, and toner. These materials can be easily recycled and have a large amount of uses.
However, recycling isn't the only option for depleted cartridges. They can be sent for remanufacturing or refilling. This saves a huge amount of manufacturing costs, wastage and pollution that comes with throwing out old cartridges. Considering that each cartridge can last 4 remanufactures, a huge amount of surplus resources are waiting to be claimed, as well as tonnes of atmospheric CO2 that will no longer be released.
Remanufactured Cartridges don't even void your printer warranty