If you’ve ever been the one in the office that got eye rolls for shipping back the toner cartridges rather than tossing them… you were right. (If you were the eye-roller, read on.)
Lexmark International recently commissioned a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)to understand the environmental impact of its toner cartridges on the environment. The study found that sending a used Lexmark toner cartridge back to Lexmark for recycling rather than tossing it reduced the overall carbon footprint of that cartridge by up to 60 percent.
According to a Lexmark spokesperson, in 2008 and 2009 approximately 4 out of every 10 Lexmark toner cartridges shipped was returned for recycling or reuse through their collection program, and the rate was even higher in some regions. While this is impressive, it still means that more than half of those cartridges are ending up in landfills.
Lexmark follows a zero landfill practice for all of the cartridges that are returned to the company. One hundred percent of the cartridges Lexmark collects through this program are either reused or demanufactured for recycling.
In addition to its Cartridge Collection Program, Lexmark offers additional tips for reducing your overall carbon footprint from everyday printing:
- Print only what is necessary, and print double-sided on the paper as much as possible.
- Print several pages in one using the multi-up printing function.
- Favor digital document processes, and use features such as scan-to-email to share documents.
- Use the highest-yield ink and toner cartridges available as opposed to those with standard yields. Fewer cartridges will need to be used over the life of the device, which creates less waste and conserves raw materials.
Laura Leites, Managing Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com