The business of manufacturing printer inks and printer ink cartridges is a multimillion-dollar industry. Most people who own computers also own printers and make use of printer ink cartridges. Hundreds of millions of printer ink cartridges were sold in Europe and the United States in the last two years alone. This means that hundreds of millions of printer ink cartridges are also consumed and emptied every year.
The question is: where do all these empty printer ink cartridges go? Ideally, used printer ink cartridges should find their way to special recycling centers where the materials these cartridges were made of are retrieved for future use. Unfortunately, only 25% of all those millions of cartridges consumed every year go that way. Most of them end up at some landfill or some other garbage facility instead.
And this is where the problems start.
Empty Printer Ink Cartridges Can Contribute to Pollution
Empty printer ink cartridges are non-biodegradable products. This means that if these cartridges end up in a landfill, they will just sit there for years and years without decaying.
Not only that, the chemicals that make up printer ink, not to mention the chemicals that make these inks resistant to fading as well as produce brilliant colors, can be quite harmful to the environment. These chemicals are also capable of seeping into the soil in the landfill and finding their way into the ground water. From the ground water, they can eventually get mixed into other bodies of water, even into the ocean. Next thing we know, we are actually drinking printer ink chemicals in our coffee and eating sushi made with fish tainted with printer ink chemicals.
Printer Ink Cartridges are Made from Finite Resources
We also need to consider the materials that make up the printer ink cartridges itself. Each printer ink cartridge is made from plastic and metal. Plastic is a by-product of petroleum while metals are mined from the earth. Both petroleum and metal are finite resources. In simply throwing printer ink cartridges and letting them find their way to the landfill, we are throwing away these finite resources from which these cartridges are made.
Recycling Printer Ink Cartridges Helps the Environment
Rather than simply throwing away empty printer ink cartridges, we should all be conscientious enough to bring them to special recycling centers. Also, before we buy a printer, we ought to check out if the manufacturer of this printer we are interested in has some sort of recycling program wherein they accept empty printer ink cartridges carrying their brand name.
We could also buy remanufactured printer ink on occasion. This type of printer ink makes use of recycled cartridges. However, before we buy remanufactured printer ink cartridges, we ought to make sure that these cartridges will not harm our printers, especially if our printers are still under warranty. Good companies that deal with remanufactured printer ink cartridges will always offer guarantees that their products will not ruin printers.
Always be conscientious even with the printer ink cartridges that you use. Recycle empty printer cartridges and buy remanufactured ink as much as possible.
This Article is written by John C Arkin.
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