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Environmental Truth Concerning Used Printer Cartridges

landfill-2Here are a few quick environmental facts when it comes to discarded laser cartridges.  You might find it surprising when you realize the effect our used cartridges can have on our planet.

It is important to note that using a laser printer is more environmental friendly than an inkjet printer. This is because the toner cartridges from a laser printer last much longer and you get more prints out of it when you compare it to ink jet cartridges.  But even so, the toll toner cartridges take the environment is extensive.

  • To manufacture and produce one laser toner cartridge required almost a gallon of fossil fuels.
  • It is currently estimated that one and a half billion (1,500,000,000) ink cartridges and 350 million (350,000,000) are discarded every year.  The current rate of increase is about 12% each year.
  • Typically a laser cartridge is made up of 40% metal, 40% plastic, with the remaining 20% a mixture of rubber, paper, foam and toner.
  • Once dumped into a landfill a toner cartridge can take up to 450 years to decompose.
  • Once discarded a single laser toner cartridge becomes 3.5 points of solid waste.  To put this in perspective, you can compare that to the weight of 112,463 Volkswagen Beetles each year.