Buying compatible printer cartridges? They absolutely add to climate change.

Buying compatible printer cartridges? They absolutely add to climate change.

Kathleen Merz

compatible ink cartridges pollute

Did you know that by purchasing compatible printer cartridges to save money you are contributing to the increase of the global carbon output that contributes to climate change? If you didn’t, don’t worry. Lots of people don’t. We’re trying to change that. To understand the environmental cost of ink cartridges, you must understand the different kinds of printer inks available to buy:

Original OEM printer cartridges come directly from the manufacturer, such as HP, Canon, Epson, etc. These ink cartridges are generally expensive causing individuals to look for low-cost alternatives.

A remanufactured cartridge is a recycled OEM cartridge that has been professionally cleaned, rebuilt, and refilled. Because these cartridges use the original core of the OEM ink cartridge, they are compatible to the printers they were made for.

Compatible printer ink cartridges are new built, single use cartridges. Often considered “knock-offs” or “counterfeit cartridges,” these cartridges are manufactured overseas and made to be compatible with printers. Whether they work or not is not known until after you get them.

Sure, it’s tempting to search for inexpensive clone cartridges online and order them, but even if they work right, the price we all pay globally for their use is dear, and irreversible.

generic ink cartridges pollute the environment

We know that carbon dioxide concentrations are rising mostly because of the fossil fuels that people are burning for energy. Fossil fuels like coal and oil contain carbon that plants pulled out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis over many millions of years. Now, we are rapidly returning that carbon to the atmosphere in just a few hundred years.

Here is how something that seems so small adds up:

According to Energy Central, manufacturing just one single toner cartridge emits around 4.8kg CO2 Greenhouse Gases per cartridge. To put this into perspective, consider that the average household of four emits 1,200 kg of CO2 emissions per month. If you consider that a single factory can manufacture 200,000 cartridges per month, we’re talking about 640,000 kg of monthly CO2 emissions per factory output. That is the equivalent monthly CO2 output of over 500 average homes. In addition, more than two ounces of oil is used to produce every inkjet cartridge. That means we are going through more than 4,000,000 gallons of oil just for single-use cartridges each year that go into the trash.

Compatible ink cartridges cannot be recycled. To keep costs low, overseas manufacturers us lower-quality materials that increase toxic waste, energy use, and carbon output. To compound the problem further, many of these manufacturers label their cartridges as ‘remanufactured’ when they aren’t, so you can be duped into thinking you’re buying the right thing when you’re not.

Planet Green has been recycling empty inkjet cartridges for over 20 years in our state-of-art-facility. We have repeatedly analyzed these compatible cartridges to see if their lifecycle can be extended by recycling, but they can’t be. Unlike the OEM cartridges, there are no standards in the manufacturing process for compatible printer cartridge. Without uniformity and consistency, it makes the remanufacturing process cost prohibitive. Also, compatible, clone, counterfeit cartridges may violate intellectual property rights which would put U.S. cartridge remanufacturers in legal jeopardy. Thus, making compatible printer cartridges single use plastic waste.  A large abundance of this waste can be reduced, or practically eliminated if consumers choose to buy remanufactured ink cartridges as opposed to compatible or generic cartridges.

Both remanufactured and compatible ink cartridges are low-cost alternatives to the high-priced OEM printer cartridges but see the difference we can make by just using remanufactured instead of poorly made clones made of new materials? Recycled remanufactured printer cartridges extend the lifecycle of a genuine OEM cartridge allowing them to be reused at 50% of the cost to purchase a new branded OEM cartridge. These ink cartridges are truly eco-friendly because they are not using up valuable virgin resources to be produced and then just thrown away.

So, if you are looking for a low-cost alternative to buying OEM branded ink cartridges, and you want to change for the better when it comes to being green, please consider remanufactured cartridges over compatibles. DoorStepInk cartridges are professionally remanufactured in the USA through a rigorous 5-step process where every cartridge is inspected, cleaned, rebuilt, refilled, and tested, so you know they’ll work. These cartridges come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Buying them is a win for you, US manufacturing, and our environment – nationally and globally.

If you prefer sticking with OEM cartridges, please remember to recycle your empty cartridges. Over a million still-useful cartridges are thrown away each day. Help us stop that by using our recycle service to mail in your used ink cartridges from your home or office. Have you got some? Click here to get a FREE shipping label, and we’ll take them and breathe new life into them.

We hope you’ll start the new year off by pledging to go greener with us by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Every bit counts.

You can help us act today by following us on social media, raising money for your organization with The Planet Green Recycle Program, and remembering to buy and use recycled, remanufactured inkjet cartridges from DoorStepInk. Drop by our store and start today.

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