Resources are finite while consumption and waste are increasing
The Earth's natural resources are vital to the survival and development of the human population. Some of these resources, such as minerals, species, and habitats, are finite - once they have been exhausted or destroyed, they are gone forever. Others, such as air, water, and wood, are renewable — although we generally rely on the Earth's natural systems to regrow, renew, and purify them for us. Although many effects of over-exploitation are felt locally, the growing interdependence of nations and international trade in natural resources make their management a global issue.
However, nowadays the global economy is based on a high level of resource consumption. This includes raw materials (such as metals, construction minerals or wood), energy carriers, and land or water. Along with the global economic growth, technological developments and changing consumption and production patterns, the increasing high resource consumption puts pressure on the environment both within USA and in other regions of the world.
These pressures include depletion of non-renewable resources, intensive use of renewable resources, transportation, high emissions to water, air and soil from mining activities as well as production, consumption and waste generation. It is generally accepted that there are physical limits to the continued growth of resource use.
Waste has the potential to cause a number of impacts on health and the environment, including emissions to air, soil, surface water and groundwater depending on how it is managed. Waste also represents a loss of material resources (such as the metals or other recyclable materials it contains, or its potential as an energy source). Therefore, sound management of waste can protect public health and the quality of the environment whilst supporting conservation of natural resources.
(See more about Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in the United States: Facts and Figures)
The problems with printer supplies
Shockingly, 80% of all used inkjets and lasers go straight in to landfills where they take up to 1,000 years to decompose, despite the fact that they can easily be recycled. Mobile phones can be considered hazardous waste and contain toxic materials such as cadmium and lead, which can pollute the water table.
Every year more than 500 million OEM toner and inkjet cartridges are manufactured, however, 80% of all used inkjets and lasers go straight in to landfills despite the fact that they can easily be recycled. If these cartridges are not diverted from our landfills, this equates to almost 1,000 tons of unnecessary pollution that can enter our waste stream every day.
According to an authoritative report, every inkjet cartridge requires about 1.5 pints (0.75 litres) of oil to manufacture, while laser toners need about 3 pints (1.5 litres). That means, every year more than 1 billion pints of oil consumed to make these printer supplies.
Recycling benefits more
Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" waste hierarchy.Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. Compared to virgin production, some of these benefits accrue locally as well as globally:
- Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration.
- Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials.
- Recycling saves energy.
- Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
- Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
- Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.
Our environmental policy and recycle program
As a printer supplies remanufacturer, we are more concerned about the environment and we are committed to reducing the waste and further to decreasing the damage to our precious environment. At Aster Graphics, we offer a closed loop environmentally recycling solution, by collecting and recycling empty cartridges which would normally end up in the landfills.
How it works?
At Aster Graphics, all the collected spent OEM cartridges are sorted by our trained staff, dismantled and evaluated. If the cartridges are not suitable for remanufacturing, they will be recycled in an environmentally responsible way. If they can be remanufactured or reused, they go through the rebuilding, refilling and further testing processes and then are resold in the market if they meet our quality standards. This process is more beneficial for the environment than even the recycling carried out by the original manufacturers which involves a heat-based industrial process to separate the plastic and metal components which are then melted down to be reused in other products or simply broken into pellets before being discarded as waste and ending up in a landfill again.
In addition to recycling the used cartridges in an environmental friendly way, in our daily operations, we also try our best to reduce our impact on the environment, such as recycling the cardboard packaging, plastic cartridge bags and pallets.