What Happens When You Send Your Printer Cartridge For Recycling?

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When you buy a new ink cartridge for your printer, have you ever noticed the little envelope in the pack for recycling your old cartridge? Good! Now, do you use them? Even better! If you have a HP printer, that cartridge has joined over 320 million others which have been returned and recycled in the company’s Planet Partners programme since 1991.

But what actually happens in the recycling process? You may assume they’d end up back at a printer cartridge factory, cleaned up, refilled and sent out once again as new – good for the planet, and great for manufacturing costs! The truth is a little different, as this video from HP shows.

Each printer cartridge recycled is shredded, melted down, blended to improve the quality of the resin, reprocessed, heated up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and extruded into plastic strands. Those strands are then cooled, cut into pellets and sent off to be melted down again and manufactured into new printer cartridges.  

HP have now manufactured more than 1 billion printer cartridges with recycled materials. That’s a lot of landfill saved. So, next time you spot one of those little envelopes, make sure you join in the efforts to keep your ink green.


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