Knowledge Is Power - Share Some Statistics

Knowledge Is Power - Share Some Statistics

, by Joe Dolan, 4 min reading time

When it comes to ink cartridge waste, knowledge is power and awareness can make the difference between ink cartridges being recycled or being thrown into the trash. Review some of these statistics and share this information in conversation. Consider ways your organization can benefit from an ink cartridge recycling program, or simply make the right choice to recycle your own ink cartridges after use. Above all, open the discussion about recycling.

Printer cartridge waste is an environmental disaster. The print consumable industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. The European Toner and Inkjet Remanufactures Association states that upwards of 900 million inkjet cartridges are manufactured worldwide each year. However, it is important to note that this number includes both original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cartridges and third-party cartridges. Some of the largest OEM manufacturers of inkjet cartridges include HP, Canon, Epson, and Brother, but there are hundreds of millions of clone, or often referred to as “compatible,” non-OEM ink cartridges made by third-party manufacturers each year and they contribute heavily to the waste stream.

Overseas manufacturers are making clone cartridges and capitalizing on the market with inexpensive, single-use products. They infringe on OEM patents and flood the market through online retail platforms with no recourse from their products contributing to the waste stream. Being single-use refers to their inability to be recycled or remanufactured. Once emptied, they get thrown away, sorted into landfills and they leech toxins into the earth and groundwater, poisoning the oceans and breaking down into landfills for upwards of 1000 years each.

Unlike OEM ink cartridges, which are made with high quality product and manufacturing methods, clone cartridges aren’t suited for remanufacturing. The plastics and components do not get a second life, but instead go into the trash. High volume sales through Amazon and other websites makes the United States into a dumping ground for ink cartridge trash.


In other aspects of pollution, Energy Central shares that manufacturing one toner cartridge emits 4.8kg of Co2 greenhouse gas, and this doesn’t account for the toner inside it. In terms that are easier to understand, a single factory makes as many as 200,000 cartridges per month. It’s 640,000 kg of C02 per month, per factory, or the equivalent of 500 average homes per factory making clone ink cartridges. This is detrimental to air quality, the ozone layer and global warming. It can be greatly reduced by simply purchasing and recycling OEM ink cartridges, which includes U.S. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges.

The manufacturing of new clone cartridges increases emissions and requires the use of energy, adding harmful greenhouse gasses to the earth’s atmosphere. For every 100,000 new cartridges, these manufacturers consume five additional tons of aluminum, 40 tons of plastic, and 250,000 more gallons of oil, all of which is flooding into landfills after use. Compatible third-party ink cartridges are depleting natural resources to create literal trash and they are increasing global warming as they do. (Ramanuja Centre for Advanced Research in Sciences, 2021)

Consider the benefit of remanufacturing. If each cartridge was used a second time, that would reduce ink cartridge waste by half - massively reducing the use of natural resources and the spread of greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing of new plastic cartridges.

Ink cartridge waste contributes 700 million pounds of trash to our environment yearly from empty printer cartridges alone. Remanufacturing reduces the direct energy demand from manufacturers, also helping to limit new emissions. U.S. Remanufacturing diverts plastic waste from landfills and cuts the cost of mining new materials to create plastic that already exists and is suited for re-use.

If we consider that approximately 500 million printer cartridges are sold in the U.S. per year, that is the equivalent of 2.4 billion kilograms (or a whopping 2.4 million metric tons) of carbon emissions solely from cartridge manufacturing. If each cartridge was used a second time, that would reduce ink cartridge waste by half - massively reducing the use of natural resources, and the spread of greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing of new plastic cartridges. (Earth 911, 2023)

70% of ink cartridges currently go un-recycled in the US. Recycling is a choice that takes virtually no effort to do. With ink cartridge recycling programs, like Planet Green Recycle, every OEM cartridge can be sent in free for recycling and remanufacturing. This will rapidly reduce waste while offering remanufactured OEM cartridges to consumers at less than half the cost of buying new, all with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

You can learn more about ink cartridge recycling and remanufacturing by visiting today. Make an effort to discuss and share the facts with people you know who use printers at work and at home. Knowledge is power and you’ve got the power to make a difference.

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