Eco-Friendly Toner: Print with Purpose

As environmental concerns continue to grow, many people are looking for ways to reduce their impact on the planet.  One area where businesses are finding they can make a meaningful impact is through their printing practices.

Each year in the United States, 350 million used ink and toner cartridges are thrown away, with the majority ending up in landfills.  A single discarded cartridge from a laser printer adds roughly 2 pounds of metal and plastic pollution to our landfills – waste that takes 1,000 years to decompose entirely.  The math is simple but staggering: we contribute 700 million pounds of waste to our environment yearly from empty printer cartridges alone.

It may seem like a small problem compares to the greater challenge of pollution or climate change, but the environmental impact from trashing used printer cartridges deserves our attention.  While 700 pounds of cartridge landfill wastes is unsightly, and prevents habitation or wildlife, the CO2 emissions from manufacturing those cartridges are even worse.

According to the environmental think tank, Energy Collective Group, a single printer cartridge emits 4.8kg of carbon emissions during production.  If we consider that approximately 500 million printer cartridges are sold in the U.S. per year, that equals 2.4 billion kilograms (or a shopping 2.4 million metric tons) of carbon emission solely from cartridge manufacturing.