1000 Flowers for the Planet - #272 Recycle Photocopier Cartridges
May's monster month of collections was our biggest ever! ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' collected 366,354 printer cartridges for recycling or around 130,000 kg. On top of that, we have just hit 25 million cartridges recycled since the program began 11 years ago.
So what are the environmental benefits of this success?
- over 11,200 tonnes of cartridges diverted from landfill;
- over 114,240 tonnes of greenhouse gases prevented from being released into the atmosphere*; and
- significant water, energy and resource savings as a result of the recycled materials being used in other products.
The CO2 saved from recycling through the ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' program is equivalent to taking more than 27,450 cars of the road permanently!
The reason we need to recycle photocopier cartridges, apart from the plastic content, avoiding putting more stuff into landfill, reducing greenhouse gases, saving water, saving energy, saving resources, and making ourselves ‘feel good’ is because these cartridges contain carbon black (known to us as toner), which is a ‘possible carcinogen’. Now we have to pay attention to the semantics because nobody is going to say that toner ‘is’ a carcinogen because that would cause legal consequences all over the world. So let’s play it safe and rather than put the cartridges into landfill, remember to recycle them and add to Planet Ark's good statistics.
Talking of statistics, the above numbers from Planet Ark are for Australia – imagine what much larger countries such as USA, Canada, Great Britain etc are doing. Much bigger numbers there.
If you’d like to know more about photocopiers and their impact on health you can read an interesting article at: http://www.silentmenace.com/Photocopiers.html