13,500 Cartridges Recycled Every Working Day - Thanks Australia

Thank you © Planet Ark

Thanks to workplaces just like yours ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ is celebrating its biggest year since it began 15 years ago. 13,550 cartridges were recycled every working day for the last year. So what does this achievement mean, why is the program such a success and what new products do the cartridge become?

What do all these recycled cartridges mean?

Over the last 12 months Australians have made history by recycling a record 13,500 used printer cartridges every working day, making it the biggest year ever since the launch of the ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ program. This is equivalent to 386 bathtubs of cartridges returned every working day or 6 backyard swimming pools every week! The 3.5 million cartridges collected in the last year is enough to produce around 4,500 pens or 168,000 rulers made from the recycled materials. So a big THANK YOU!

Why so successful?

A key factor in this success is the industry’s willingness to participate in this voluntary product stewardship scheme, which ensures the environmental impact of their products is responsibly managed at the end of their useful life. Collectively the participating cartridge manufacturers - Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta and Kyocera - have helped Australians divert 34 million cartridges from landfill, which is equivalent to over 14,500 tonnes of materials, since the program began in 2003.

Printer cartridges can take between 450 and 1,000 years to break down in landfill, and e-waste is the fastest-growing form of waste. Rapid innovation, shorter product lifespan and lower prices of both electronics and raw materials have led to an increase in items being discarded. So it’s vital for manufacturers to consider the end of life of their products develop closed loop systems.


What’s new?

Innovation in this area is continuing, with the recent launch of a new product, Tonerseal™, a world-first spray seal binder for roads which contains over 20% recycled waste toner and used tyres. To date more than 900 km of roads have been surfaced with TonerPave™ or Tonerseal™ - that’s equivalent to the distance from Melbourne to Sydney. Recently Australia Zoo also chose to lay 250 tonnes of TonerPave™ as part of a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.

Manufacturers are also implementing a range of other changes to their cartridges and equipment to reduce waste. These include using recycled plastic in their production, adding extra-large print tanks to extend their life and developing technology to monitor and balance usage across all colours. Changes to toner chemistry also allow for quality printing with lower energy use.

How can I take action?

Find a Cartridge drop-off location