On Feb. 1, Staples, Inc. will become the first national retailer to offer a comprehensive ink and toner recycling program that rewards customers for recycling any brand or type of cartridge, regardless of manufacturer. As a part of their EcoEasy suite of green initiatives, Staples now provides an opportunity for customers to earn $3 back in Staples Rewards on any brand or type of ink or toner, just for choosing to recycle them instead of throwing them away.
“The emergence of user-friendly ink and toner recycling programs like the one Staples is offering is an important step in helping Americans make more environmentally-friendly choices in their daily lives by keeping valuable products and materials out of the waste stream,” said Matt Hale, drector of the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery for the U.S. EPA.
In 2008, the company recycled more than 22 million ink and toner cartridges. The company expects to recycle more than 30 million cartridges in 2009 and become the world’s largest ink and toner recycler with its current initiatives.
According to Staples, 70 percent of cartridges used worldwide are thrown away, with almost eight cartridges tossed in the trash per second in the U.S.
Customers can recycle up to 10 cartridges per calendar month, and Rewards are sent on a monthly basis. The money can be used on any Staples purchase in store, online or over the phone.
In 2008, the company also recycled approximately four million pounds of electronic waste and opened its first two stores registered with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.