recycling program initiated by Canon is about to celebrate its twentieth anniversary. In 1990 the scheme only operated in the USA, Germany and Japan. Today it covers 23 nations and, as of June 2009, has collected around 220,000 tons of used toner cartridges. The toner
recycling scheme is unique among print brands in that 100% of the cartridge parts are recycled and recovered, so that nothing goes to landfill. For example, the energy used in recycling the cartridges is used for heating, while the plastic is used for new cartridges.
The timeline of the Canon
Recycling Program documents the company’s increasing concern with recycling. Beginning in 1990 with only three nations, by 1994 21 countries were involved. Further, the rate of cartridge collection has grown most rapidly in the last five years: at the Program’s half way point in 2000, only 60,000 tons of cartridges had been collected, of the 222,000 recycled today. Further, it was not only 2003 that Canon’s ‘zero landfill’ policy was implemented in all four of its global recycling bases. This period of greater dedication to toner recycling coincides with the increased number of accolades award to Canon. In 2005 for example, Canon received a 3R Award from the Japanese Minister of Industry.
Canon attributes the success of its Cartridge Recycling Program to its company ethos: ‘kyosei’. This mentality of ‘living and working for the common good’ meant Canon introduced its ink and toner recycling program before any other printer brand, and without cost to the consumer. Today it implements a ‘closed-loop recycling’ method, meaning that a minimum of new resources are needed for its products. The company presently only recycles ink cartridges of its own brand, though this may change later on. To take part in Canon’s program, visit their website.