Laser Toner UK Microsupply and the Environment

Laser Toner UK Microsupply and the Environment

The expensive and complete all-in-one print cartridge used in offices throughout the UK solved a major problem for users many years ago as printer designers grouped a range of short-life components together with a quantity of imaging toner, into a plastic casing and sold it to users as a combined toner re-charge and service pack. In effect, by changing the cartridge the user replenished the depleted toner and, very importantly, carried out a service operation by replacing as one unit, many of the necessary printer cogs, blades and sensors which a service engineer would have previously changed.

However, the user noted several things; the first was how expensive the all-in-one cartridge was to buy, secondly it seemed such a waste to throw away what often seemed like 'half the printer', and thirdly, he or she noted the environmental impact of discarding large volumes of precious materials which have a limited availability on planet earth.

The response to all three issues was to recycle the cartridge and over the next 20 years, an industry has developed which now recycle up to 30% of all printer cartridges. Some are recycled by the printer manufacturers and are re-sold as 'new'. Others - the majority - are recycled by Remanufacturing Companies.

Microsupply's business associate Pbti Xinia was one of the first to develop cartridge recycling technologies in the UK and licensed certain aspects of its technology in the USA, in Japan and Australia.

Pbti design engineers incorporate most of the rigid plastic casing, cogs and bracing into the Xinia reconditioned cartridges, replacing only parts which are unlikely to survive a further print cycle. A new toner charge is also added.

Major parts, which cannot be reused - such as the aluminium imaging drums - are simply recycled and do not end their life as landfill.

In purchasing Xinia reconditioned cartridges, the discerning end user is making a significant contribution to preserving finite global resources of oil derived polymers, and also metals, particularly precious aluminium. With over 150,000 reconditioned cartridges sold in the UK alone every month, the positive environmental impact is considerable.

Recent advances in pbti technology to recondition and reuse even more components, are the subject of new patent applications and keep the company at the forefront of recycling technology.