Office Depot Extends Ink and Toner Recycling Program for Six More Months

Office Depot Extends Ink and Toner Recycling Program for Six More Months

The global retailer of recycled paper products has extended its ink and toner recycling program for an additional six months. It will now run until March 1, 2004.

The program, which began in January 2003 in more than 800 Office Depot locations throughout North America, offers customers the opportunity to receive one free ream of Office Depot’s EnviroCopy 35% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content paper when they return used ink and toner cartridges to participating stores.

Over the last eight months, more than one million cartridges have been recycled.

“Extending our ink and toner recycling program allows us to continue educating customers as to the benefits of recycling, encourages customers to try recycled paper and clearly demonstrates the performance and high quality of our 35% PCR EnviroCopy brand paper for copying and printing,” said Alex Weatherall, Vice President of Office Supply Merchandising for Office Depot. “We are committed to implementing initiatives that expand the market for recycled products.”

As part of Office Depot’s commitment, Weatherall noted that the company recently converted its Copy & Print Centers to use recycled paper. All CPCs -- more than 870 in North America -- now use Office Depot’s EnviroCopy paper as the default type for black and white copies in all high-speed and self-service copy machines.

In looking at the impact of Office Depot’s recycling programs on the environment, Weatherall cited the following statistics:
  • The use of 1 million reams of 35% post consumer recycled (PCR) content conserves 21,000 trees and 14.7 billion BTUs of energy compared to virgin paper.
  • By some estimates, nearly eight ink and toner cartridges are thrown away in the U.S. every second.
  • According to industry sources, 98% of ink jet cartridges end up in the solid waste stream -- although this percentage has been decreasing the past year thanks to aggressive recovery efforts like Office Depot’s recycling program.
  • Industry analysts estimate that a spent ink and toner cartridge can be reused between four and seven times.
  • Each laser printer cartridge, on average, consists of approximately 2.5 pounds of plastic -- primarily acrylonitrile butadiene styrene -- along with steel, aluminum, and rubber.
  • Manufacturing each printer cartridge requires approximately three quarts of petroleum to power the manufacturing process that converts oil and natural gas to plastic.
  • Each cartridge contains petroleum as “embedded” energy (i.e. the fuel value of the plastic itself). It takes the energy equivalent of approximately one-half gallon of oil to make one 2.5-pound cartridge.