Life After Recycling – Printer Cartridges

Life After Recycling – Printer Cartridges

You have diligently placed an empty printer cartridge into the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark recycling box and the cartridges have been collected. What happens to the cartridge now and what reusable items could be created from it? This is the process and the items which are created from a cartridge you’ve recycled:

Sorting your recycled printer cartridge

After your cartridges have been collected, they first get sorted to make sure there are only cartridges, drums and other printer consumable components in the mix. The sorting process also makes sure the cartridges are produced by manufacturers whose consumable materials have been verified as recyclable, so no unknown materials are going through the process.


The cartridges are broken down and crushed into fragments by the ‘Green Machine’. The materials used to manufacture a cartridge such as steel, clean or mixed plastics, residual toner, ink and aluminium are then separated. Every bit of the cartridge is then recycled into new products. This process is achieved with zero waste to landfill.

What items are being created with the materials?

  • Aluminium is used to make items like cans
  • Clean plastics are used to make stationery like pens and rulers
  • The residual ink is used in pens
  • The residual toner is turned into TonerPave which is used in roads and pathways
  • Contaminated plastics are turned into eWood to make things like benches and fences
  • Steel is re-used to create appliances like fridges or other items

If you are conscious about our environment and sustainability and would like to contribute to this system, make sure you purchase cartridges from manufacturers who take responsibility for the cartridges they produce by supporting the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark recycling program. This verifies that all the materials used to make cartridges can be recycled.

Brother is a founding and full funding partner of Cartridges 4 Planet Ark to ensure we minimise our environmental impact and contribute toward a sustainable future. Find out how Brother continues to invest in eco-friendly products as well as more things you can personally do to help our environment at


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