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Please help us make a difference on World Soil Day

, by Kathleen Merz, 3 min reading time

World Soil Day is December 5th. Soil is as essential to sustaining life on Earth as air and water are. What can we do now to make it better? Recycling ink & toner cartridges is a great step.

World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources. 
world soil day planet green

It may not be as magnificent looking as a green forest or appear as vital as fresh water, but plain-looking soil is a natural resource just as essential to sustaining all life on Earth. Soil provides nutrients, water and minerals to plants and trees, stores carbon and is home to billions of insects, small animals, bacteria and many other micro-organisms that we all need. 

Yet, according to the FAO, the amount of fertile soil on the planet has been diminishing at an alarming rate, compromising the ability of farmers to grow food to feed a global population that is projected to top nine billion by 2050. What we can do together is mitigate this damage by not throwing away ink and toner cartridges.

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The main negative environmental impact of throwaway ink toner cartridges is landfill consumption. People worldwide dispose of thousands of them every day. A discarded ink toner cartridge is not biodegradable and takes up land fill space virtually forever. On the other hand, a recycled ink toner cartridge can be reused several times without loss of function. Unfortunately, instead of reusing them, we’ve made waste of exponentially more virgin materials than we need to while tossing them into landfills.  

Another negative impact that we are watching closely and working against at Planet Green is the leaching of chemicals, metal residues, plastics and other unknown/not reported substances that have been found in imported cheap knockoff cartridges from overseas in these landfills. This waste degrades and releases these substances into our water, air, and the precious soil that we need.

Soil is alive, and for it to stay healthy and productive, we collectively need to do everything we can to stop these imports and stop the waste through recycling. 

For example, both PBDEs and NBFRs enter into the environment due to manufacturing and waste incineration, with electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) being a large source. In contaminated soils, PBDEs and NBFRs can bind to organic matter, persist for long periods of time (estimated half-lives of 28 years), impact soil biota by bioaccumulation and biomagnification across the food chain, and be transferred to aquatic ecosystems (both fresh and marine waters) by sediments (Besis and Samara, 2012; McGrath, Ball and Clarke, 2017 via 


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking into claims of anti-competitive practices by companies 
falsely labeling newly built printer cartridges as “remanufactured.” There is an enormous amount of imported cloned printer cartridges flooding into the U.S. market through retailers such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart and other online retailers. These printer cartridges are newly built, nonrecyclable and falsely labeled, but still being advertised as recycled/remanufactured. Many states are banning the use of the recycling logo or reference to a product as being recycled, if the product or packaging doesn’t meet statewide recycling criteria, but there is much more to do. 

Discarded Ink cartridges can contaminate water and poison the soil, destroying the ecosystem for several decades to come. Given that materials used to make printer cartridges are not biodegradable, it spells doom for both the flora and fauna as they won’t have a future if we don’t act to correct it. 

At Planet Green we’d like to amplify awareness of this important resource for World Soil Day, and stress how every bit of litter we throw away has a wider impact than we realize. 

ALSO: Learn more about World Soil Day here

planet green recycling

You can help us act today by following us on social media, raising money for your organization with The Planet Green Recycle Program, and remembering to buy and use recycled, remanufactured inkjet and toner cartridges from Doorstep Ink. Drop by our store and start today. 


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