All cartridges are made up of a complex mix of plastics, metal, inks and toners which represent a significant investment in resources. As soon as this hits landfill, the resources are lost. Our Client Brother Australia is a founding and full funding partner of the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program, where they aim to minimise their environmental impact and contribute toward a sustainable future.

At the Gap Agency, we find ways to push these CSR stories to the media and public, and narrative write ups are just one method (that will actually hold your interest!) Read on to find out more on ‘A day in the ‘after-life’ of a Recycled Ink Cartridge’. Items made from cartridges could very well surround you, and you wouldn’t even know it! 

RECYCL-INK: A day in the ‘after-life’ of a Recycled Ink Cartridge

As you leave your front door, you notice that your neighbour has put up a new fence, a wooden deck, and some beautiful garden beds. They look great! You go to exit the front gate, and find yourself walking across a freshly paved road of asphalt, to the coffee shop across the road. You’re glad those potholes are finally gone. As you sip on your latte, you suddenly remember to write down a mental note, and pull out your Enviroliner pen to scribble on a napkin. This morning you are full of observations, but one that you likely won’t make, is that the fence, the deck, the garden beds, the asphalt, and the pen you’ve used this morning are all made from recycled printer cartridges.

Brother International Australia are excited to hit a milestone of 4.5 million recycled cartridges this month, after working closely with their partner, Cartridges 4 Planet Ark. In an effort to understand just what happens when Brother customers recycle their cartridges, the team decided to investigate, and discovered the ‘after-life’ of a printer cartridge can be very fascinating. To tell this story, we have decided to focus on P-ink, the pink Brother ink cartridge. 

Once P-ink runs out of ink, she takes a trip with her owner to be dropped into one of the green Cartridges 4 Planet Ark boxes. Here she makes friends with many other printer consumables, including toner bottles and containers, fuser and drum kits, and even fax rolls. Once things start getting a bit too cosy in their temporary green home, P-ink and her friends are chauffeured to the ‘Close the Loop’ facility in Melbourne, where they are split and sorted through the ‘Green Machine’. Some cartridges will be returned to their original manufacturers, where they will undergo their own component recovery programs. For the rest, residual inks are extracted and used for Enviroliner pens, and Lousy Ink recycled artist ink. The cartridges find themselves being stripped for parts including metals, clean plastic streams, and toners, that are then recycled into a variety of goods, from eWood and asphalt, through to cans, fridges, and more. 

Brother International Australia prides itself to be part of a larger recycling initiative, and through ‘Brother Earth’, finds new ways to create sustainable products.  When customers buy recycled goods, they are saving the resources and energy that go into making products from virgin materials, reducing the need for mining, conserving raw materials and reducing waste that goes to landfill. 

For many, throwing away a small printer cartridge may seem insignificant, but collectively, recycling our printer cartridges can make a huge difference. Items made from cartridges could very well surround you, and you wouldn’t even know it!  

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About Brother Earth:

Brother always takes responsibility, acts respectfully and tries to make a positive difference. Brother Earth is Brother’s attitude and commitment to play a part in building a society with sustainable development. Help the environment now by giving a click at Brother will contribute to a variety of global environmental protection activities on your behalf. The number of clicks each project receives will determine proportionately how the funds will be allocated.

About Brother International (Aust) Pty Ltd

In operation for more than a century, Brother is a global manufacturer of laser printers, laser and inkjet Multi-Function Centres, label printers, scanners and mobile products and is recognised for its range of technology-driven machinery used within businesses worldwide.

With corporate printing solutions at the forefront of its services, Brother boasts customer satisfaction across small, medium, and large businesses. Its printers have been recognised with 6 consecutive wins for the coveted PC Magazine, Business Choice Award, and 10 consecutive wins of Readers’ Choice Awards. The organisation takes pride in its consistent efforts towards promoting environmental conservation and cost minimisation, particularly through providing solutions that encourage efficiency in the workplace.

Brother International Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brother Industries, which was founded in 1908 in Japan. Brother Australia was established in 1977, with a head office located in Sydney and state offices nationally throughout Australia.