Printing Tips
Important Info



FAQ about recycling Inkjet and Laser Toner Cartridges

Q.    Why is recycling so important?
A.    Recycling is environmentally beneficial because it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill, re-uses the planetís finite resources and uses less energy than making a cartridge from new.

Q.    How can I recycle my Inkjet cartridges?
A.    Take them to your local charity shop - most of whom collect cartridges for recycling. Do not take them back to the shop you bought them from. You would much rather a charity have your donation than a big business wouldn't you ....

Q.    What happens to my empty cartridge?
A.    They are sent directly to a Recycling Centre where, so far as possible, they are remanufactured into new cartridges.

Q.    Can all Inkjet cartridges be made into new cartridges?
A.    Unfortunately not for a variety of reasons. Cartridges which do not have the printhead attached to the cartridge (e.g. Epson and some Canon cartridges) cannot be re-used. The only way they can be recycled is to be ground down into plastic chips which are then used as packing material or melted down and reformed into new shapes.
Unfortunately, most recycling centres refuse to accept Epson cartridges due to the large volume they have received which makes more packing material than they can use or sell. 
This saddens everyone at
Print4Less because we are all dedicated to recycling as much as we can. However, we do appreciate that it uses more energy to transport, sort and crush these cartridges than can be recouped by recycling. We advise that If there is a plastics recycling bin at your local refuse centre, please use it for your empty Epson cartridges instead. Your local council should have details of plastics recycling depots in your area (or try the Yellow Pages). 

Q.    What about empty Laser toner cartridges?
A.    The majority of these can also be recycled by taking to your local charity shop.

Q.    Are the Laser toner empties worth anything?
A.    Recycling companies need empties in order to make and sell remanufactured cartridges. Sometimes they will pay for certain empty Laser toner cartridges but the prices fluctuate depending on supply and demand and some are not worth anything. If these empties have a value, it can then be passed back to the charity. 

Q.    I currently return all my empties to my Stationery supplier. Surely they are recycling them!
A.    Not necessarily. The stationery supplier may be doing one of two things with the empties -
    Selling them to a remanufacturer and keeping any money generated, or
    Sending them back to the printer manufacturers e.g. Hewlett Packard, Canon, Epson etc. These companies do not recycle their empties for further use in printers.

Q.    Why donít Printer manufacturers recycle their empties?
A.    Printer manufacturers make virtually no money selling printers. Their profit comes from selling their own inkjet and toners cartridges. Therefore they have a vested interest in keeping empties and thus recycled consumables out of the market so that they sell more of their own brand virgin cartridges.

Q.    Are the recycled cartridges any good?
A.    Recycled inkjet and laser consumables perform equally as well as branded cartridges but cost significantly less than the original equivalent. In addition, many carry a 12 month guarantee. Please check the T&C of the company you buy from. Most offer a satisfaction guarantee.

Q.    Are all non-branded cartridges recycled cartridges?
A.    No. Inkjet cartridges for Epson and most Canon printers are generally new, compatible cartridges, although there are a few recycled ones around. Inkjet cartridges for Hewlett Packard and Lexmark printers and Canon printheads are recycled.
For more about compatible cartridges click here

Q.    What about the warnings in my printer manual that using non-OEM cartridges could damage my printer and invalidate my warranty?
A.    Remanufactured and compatible cartridges are no more likely to damage your printer than the branded cartridge. Most sellers offer a guarantee so that in the highly unlikely event that one of their cartridges is proved to have caused damage, the manufacturers are insured and will repair the printer or replace it with one of a similar market value. Check their T&C before buying.
For more about compatible cartridges click here

A Print4Less Fact

Around 90% of laser toner cartridges and 70% if inkjets can be recycled for re-use.

Currently, only 25% of toner cartridges are recovered for this purpose.

Where do all the other cartridges go?


ceased to trade in inkjet cartridges on 31st December 2007

This was a very difficult decision but enables us to concentrate on other ventures within the Print4Less group.



Quality inkjet cartridges can be obtained from these retailers -

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Brand names, logos and trade marks are used for descriptive purposes only 
and remain the property of their respective owners.  
Their use by Print4Less does not imply endorsement by or association with the brand name owners.


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