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3 Advantages Of Environmentally Friendly Printer Ink Cartridges

2011-11-16

People often say that printing has increased with the use of computers, not decreased as experts expected. Statistics bear this out. In 2005, American consumers purchased more than 700 million brand-new printer ink cartridges for ink jet and laser printers. In contrast, retailers sold just 100 million recycled cartridges worldwide. Environmentally friendly cartridges offer many consumer benefits, including saving money, reducing landfill waste and conserving resources.

In these tight economic times, many people seek ways to save money. This holds true in many areas of their lives including office products such as printer ink cartridges. While printer prices have gone down in the past decade, ink cartridges remain pricey. One effective way to lower such costs involves buying and utilizing environmentally friendly cartridges. Many companies now remanufacture cartridges, refilling them with ink and testing them prior to sale. As with most items, consumers save when they buy used as opposed to new. This may be especially true concerning printer cartridges from name brand manufacturers who own patents and do not allow third parties to manufacture cartridges. Aside from saving money, do these cartridges offer other advantages?

They reduce landfill waste, including the 350 million toner cartridges that become trash annually. Considering more than 86 percent of ink jet cartridges end up in landfills each year, reusing or remanufacturing them can make a big difference. With new printer ink cartridges, a person often chooses to order another one each time the ink runs out. Choosing an eco-friendly option means selecting a remanufactured one or refilling a cartridge with ink directly. Both of these choices keep the cartridge from becoming waste in a landfill. In addition, when a person has finished using the printer cartridge, he or she can recycle it.

On a related note, using an environmentally friendly cartridge saves resources from being used to create new ones. Ink cartridges consist of several parts including a silicon circuit, an ink reservoir, and a flexible piece that controls the ink distribution. Each time a manufacturer builds an ink cartridge, the company uses 2 1/2 quarts of oil. Toner cartridges, weighing 2 1/2 pounds on average, comprise even more components made of aluminum, steel, rubber and plastic. Manufacturers use an average of 3 1/2 quarts of oil to make toner cartridges. In any case, using remanufactured environmentally friendly cartridges or refilling cartridges saves manufacturers from creating new parts and expending additional resources.

Printer manufacturers suggest that each cartridge could be reused four to seven times. Each time a consumer recycles a toner cartridge, he or she saves at least a half gallon of oil. With these economic and environmental benefits, consumers and companies can experience advantages from choosing an eco-friendly approach.

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