When it comes to printer cartridge recycling, Australians have an inkling!
Author: Michelle Cook
With the collection of its 10 millionth printer cartridge, one of Australia's first e-waste recycling programs,‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark', continues to also be one of the most successful.
"In just seven years, this ground-breaking e-waste recycling campaign has diverted 10 million printer cartridges from the waste stream, which amounts to more than 4,700 tonnes", says Planet Ark spokeswoman Rebecca Gilling. "By choosing to drop used printer cartridges into a ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' bin instead of their regular rubbish bin, Australians have demonstrated they are committed to the environment".
Printer cartridges are complex items made of items such as plastics and metals which can take years to breakdown in landfill. If the components are resued or recycled, as well as reducing waste levels, it helps to save vast amounts of energy and water as the burden on these commodities is reduced when recycled materials are used.
"When Planet Ark launched this campaign, the term e-waste was virtually unknown", says Gilling. "Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' was one of the first schemes to bring attention to e-waste and its impact our environment, and as we can see from the return rates, Australians are taking the issue seriously. This program is also an example of an effective extended producer responsibility program with the participating OEMs, Brother, Canon, Epson, Konica Minolta and Lexmark, taking end-of-life responsibility for the cartridges they produce."
Printer cartridges collected through the program are either returned to their original manufacturer for reuse, or recycled into new products by Planet Ark's resource recovery partner Close the Loop.
To give your used printer cartridges a new life, drop them into a ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' collection box at participating Australia Post, Officeworks, Harvey Norman, or Dick Smith Electronics and PowerHouse stores.
Find your nearest drop off location