Cartridges 4 Planet Ark is a cartridge-recycling service available to schools, universities, workplaces, and in the community. As a free program, it is a convenient way to introduce a sustainable habit that guarantees zero waste to landfill from each and every printer cartridge collected.
At School or University
We may not often think about the printing that goes on at schools or universities, but a lot of ink goes into ensuring that worksheets, education materials, and essays (even last minute ones!) are ready on time.
Action: Register for a Cartridges 4 Planet Ark box to be placed in administration offices, staff rooms, school libraries, or wherever most of your printing takes place.
Result: The program offers an opportunity to teach students about the importance of recycling and resource management. Students can get involved in the classroom and be encouraged to bring in printer cartridges used at home.
How: As a free, easy to manage, and well-established program, Cartridges 4 Planet Ark is a great introduction to sustainability. This program recycles 100 percent of collected materials and recycles those materials into a range of new products such as new cartridges, eWood, pens, artist ink and even roads. These materials are in use every day around Australia and are a way to show students how ‘waste’ has the potential to be something new without ending up in landfill.
Tip: Use Cartridges 4 Planet Ark as a case study for your school (including during National Recycling Week) and the Schools Recycle Right Challenge to engage your students in sustainability.
As workplaces evolve and become digitised, many assume printing is no longer a big part of office culture, but it still exists. Regardless of the frequency of our printing, we still need to dispose of our office resources responsibly.
Action: If you already have a collection box at your office, remember you can bring your cartridges from a home printer and recycle them in a Cartridges 4 Planet Ark box as well. You can also contact your print technicians to see if they offer collections whenever they service your printer.
Result: By utilising these services to their full potential, you are ensuring that responsible disposal methods are accessible and available to your employees. It is also a convenient way to manage the waste in your office.
How: The Cartridges 4 Planet Ark box accepts all kinds of print materials, it’s not specific for commercial print materials. Collections are also free; metropolitan users can organise collection or use the reply-paid postage service to send your cartridges for recycling at no extra charge.
Tip: If you do not have a collection box, and do not print often, consider putting out an open call on your floor or in your building. Join up with other businesses around and get a box together that can act as a communal collection point.
For people who only use small or home office printers, registering for your own box seems a little unnecessary. Fortunately, community centers and participating retailers provide convenient drop-off locations. Often these drop-off locations are in, or close to, places where you buy new cartridges.
Action: ‘Close the loop’ from purchase to disposal of printer cartridges by collecting your used cartridges at home and bringing them with you the next time you buy more.
Result: By dropping them off at a recycling point you’re helping create a circular solution that diverts waste from landfill.
How: As part of the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark scheme, participating manufacturers collect most of their old cartridges to refurbish them for reuse.Materials that the original manufacturers cannot reuse (called ‘printing consumables’), our recycling partners at ‘Close the Loop’ recycle into other products like artist ink, road additive, or eWood timber alternatives. This is all a part of the program’s zero waste to landfill guarantee.
Printer cartridges are not an item we need to dispose of everyday, but they are an important example of how difficult and potentially hazardous materials have been provided a solution beyond landfill. The plastics, metals, and inks found in printer cartridges can be turned into roads, new cartridges, eWood, and pens to be enjoyed all over again, and again.
Cartridges 4 Planet Ark is one example of many product stewardship programs within Australia.So please continue to grow the circular economy with us at Planet Ark via Product Stewardship, and keep our valuable resources being useful for as long as possible. This limits the need for landfill and allows virgin materials to not be used when not needed.