Environmental concern has quickly moved beyond a niche community and has now turned into something that everyone is concerned about – whether a private citizen or a company. Businesses in the UK have embraced many aspects of green business, such as the recycling of spent printer cartridges. This, like many other environmentally-sound practices, has been shown to benefit both the environment, as well as the bottom line, making it a win-win endeavour.
Businesses who have embraced printer cartridge recycling have seen immense benefits including cost savings and the benefits the environment reaps from those cartridges staying out of the waste stream. Printer cartridges contain toxic components that can leech into the ground water and become potentially harmful contaminants to drinking water supplies. Not to mention, the plastic used in the cartridges takes 1,000 years or more to degrade. This means that when a printer cartridge is tossed in the dump, we are leaving a problem for future generations to deal with.
The large-scale printer cartridge recycler, Cartridge World, has shown just how much businesses can save, as well as how many pounds of recyclable material is saved from entering the waste stream each year. Participation in recycling and purchasing of repurposed cartridges saved consumers and businesses £11 million a year. Businesses accounted for £6 million of that savings, while countless tons of material was kept from the rubbish bin and reused.
Printer cartridges are an expensive part of doing business, yet many do not know that they can be repurposed into new cartridges a number of times before they must really be recycled and melted down. When businesses purchase refilled printer cartridges, they are saving money, as well as preventing toxic and slow-degrading material from entering landfills. Helping the environment while also saving money is something that many businesses in the UK have embraced, making this a popular programme that should gain even more traction.
More recycling facilities are cropping up that offer printer cartridge recycling, making it easier than ever before for businesses around the UK to participate in a recycling endeavour. Studies have shown that employees are highly concerned with the environmental ramifications of their business operations and would like something done about it. Participation in such a programme will also show your employees that the business stands strong to their commitment to the environment. A company that reflects the beliefs and concerns of their employees tends to boast happier, more productive employees.
While a decent number of companies around the UK are participating in such programmes, with increased awareness of the multitude of benefits printer cartridge recycling can have, it can become even more popular.
For a business, recycling spent printer cartridges should be a no-brainer. It saves the business money and it also reduces strain on the environment. Spent cartridges can be remanufactured into new cartridges, which cost less at the cash register. It also keeps these materials out of our landfills, and even water supplies. Awareness needs to be raised about how easy it is to take part in this initiative and how much a business can benefit, as well as the environment.
Robert Dean has worked in the confidential shredding business for several years and believes in the importance of recycling business materials to benefit the environment. He currently works for The Shredding Alliance.