At a time when recycling is making headlines, Quality Print Services (QPS) is celebrating five years since the launch of its cartridge recycling scheme.
QPS introduced the free programme for its customers in 2011 – long before the 5p carrier bag charge was introduced and campaigns began to call for coffee shop chains to recycle their cups.
The end-to-end cartridge recycling programme was developed in partnership with ink brand Nazdar to minimise the signage and graphics industry's generation of landfill waste and its environmental effects. QPS began collecting empties when delivering new ones or while visiting customers as part of its renowned printer service support.
To further reduce road miles, the recycling process is kept local to QPS's HQ in Burscough, Lancashire. Any remaining ink goes to a nearby solvent recovery centre while separated cartridge components are sent to a reprocessing plant in the north of the county, where they are ground down and reprocessed into clean chips for resale to UK plastics manufacturers.
In the past twelve months alone, QPS has collected around 3.5 tonnes of plastic cartridges and saved them from going to landfill.
As well as reducing their environmental impact, this means QPS's customers don't have to worry about disposing hazardous materials or finding space to store their empty cartridges as they build up.
"Five years after launching our ink cartridge recycling programme we remain one of the only suppliers to offer this service to our customers," says Chris Bailey, Director, QPS.
"More and more print buyers are demanding environmental action from their print providers and we can offer help in this area free of charge. What's more, our customers who sign up for the recycling programme will receive certification of their involvement, which can help support an application for ISO 14001."
He adds: "Our industry creates a vast amount of waste, far too much of which ends up in landfill. It's up to all of us to help reduce that, but we make it as easy as possible for our customers."
QPS also champions British business – the majority of the Nazdar wide-format ink it sells is made in the UK – so is proud to contribute to the British circular economy by providing recycled plastic chips for re-manufacturing into new products.
[Picture caption: Used Nazdar ink cartridges are turned into plastic chips for remanufacturing]