Contribution to climate protection and resource savings

Study: Reuse of toner cartridges reduces emissions

Press release /

A new study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT on behalf of the environmental service provider Interseroh shows the specific contribution the professional reprocessing and reuse of used toner cartridges makes towards climate protection and resource savings. By taking back 1.4 million toner cartridges, Interseroh reduced greenhouse gas emissions by around 6,300 metric tons in 2017 – equivalent to the pollutants emitted from 3,530 cars annually.

Toner cartridges taken back by the recycling company Interseroh.
© ALBA Group
Toner cartridges taken back by the recycling company Interseroh.

According to the study, the reuse of a single cartridge saves 4.49 kg of greenhouse gas emissions compared to new production using virgin materials. In addition, 9.39 kg of primary resources are conserved per cartridge. As a comparison: The recycling of a defective cartridge saves 0.41 kg of greenhouse gas emissions and 1.94 kg of resources. The study thus demonstrates the environmental benefits of a consistent re-use strategy, as requested by politicians: The German government wants used toner cartridges to be increasingly recycled and refilled in the future; a corresponding ordinance on the treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment is currently being drafted.

Tom Reidick, Managing Director of INTERSEROH Product Cycle GmbH: “Just by processing and recycling the toner cartridges collected by Interseroh, we were able to save as much climate-damaging greenhouse gases in 2017 as 3,530 cars in Germany emit in one year. The potential is huge.”

“Our study shows once again the indispensable contribution that recycling products makes to climate protection and and resource savings,” emphasizes Dr. Markus Hiebel, Head of Sustainability and Resource Management at Fraunhofer UMSICHT.”Multiple-use toner cartridges significantly reduce the impact on the environment – and can still be recycled at the end of their product life cycle.“Wherever possible, the Fraunhofer experts recommend that professional reprocessing and reuse should be preferred to material recycling.

INTERSEROH Product Cycle GmbH has been providing various collection systems for empty printer and toner cartridges for many years. It was able to take back a total of around 1.4 million used cartridges in 2017 alone. Half of this was reprocessed; the other 50 percent was sent to material recycling  due to damage or insufficient demand for refurbished cartridges. According to calculations by the Fraunhofer Institute, this recycling practice saved around 6,300 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and 13,100 metric tons of primary resources.



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