Thursday, June 17, 2010

Refilled printer cartridges

As part of my 10 point green home office pledge I made a committment to refilling our printer ink cartridges instead of throughing them away and buying new ones.  I had tried refilling cartridges at home but I found it messy and fiddly - so now I just drop my empty printer cartridges into Cartridge World and they swap them over with some already refilled cartridges - for nearly half the cost of buying a new cartridge and no waiting.  How great is that!  On the Cartridge World website there is a savings calculator where you can work out how much money you can save over a year by refilling you printer cartridges - try it out.

Just in case you need further convincing of the benefits of refilling cartridges here are some facts  taken directly from the Cartridge World website - 
  • In 2008, 1.9 billion printer cartridges used worldwide.
  • In 2008, 450,000 tons of cartridges used worldwide.
  • If stacked end-to-end, all of the printer cartridges used in 2008 would measure 140,000 miles. That’s more than 5 and a half times around the world.
  • Laser printer cartridges account for over 90% of all throw-away cartridges
  • A laser cartridge thrown into landfill can take up to 450 years to decompose
And for those of you that are watching in horrow as the BP oil spill continues the plastic in each new laser toner cartridge takes three and a half quarts (approx. 15.91 liters) of oil to produce while each new inkjet cartridge requires two and a half ounces (~ 70 ml) of oil.  We should be acting as consumers to decrease our use of oils in our everyday products.

If our cartdridges cannot be refilled we will send them into Planet Ark for recycling - to date they have collected and recycled 12,433,532 - with the number going up as you read.  Here is a groovy little poster explaining the process of recycling printer cartridges at Planet Ark - which is zero waste to landfill program.

Hoping you too can refill or recycle your ink cartridges too.


  1. There is also software that can save you 35%-70% of your printer ink by eliminating unnecessary pixels and allowing the user to manage the desired ink saving level. You can remove graphics or photos from printing, to make printing web pages less cumbersome and less wasteful.
    You can download a trial for free at
    The PretonSaver Home edition saves you hundreds of dollars in just one year, with virtually no loss of print quality.

  2. Thanks Daniel... will have a look at that also... I do put the printout to DRAFT option on the printer which doesn't drop the quality too much for most applications.

  3. Most printer cartridges can be recycled, refilled or reloaded. Recycling is a hot issue and another huge growth industry.

    Toner Cartridge