Click on any of the questions below for the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Close the Loop and recycling.
Our collection programs accept ink cartridges, toner cartridges and bottles, drum units and fuser kits from 13 manufacturers. Close the Loop’s Enviroliner pens and recycled rulers can also be placed in our collection boxes for recycling.
If you are a large corporation and need more assistance with how to set up the program and communicate with you staff simply email firstname.lastname@example.org. One of our customer service team members will contact you to discuss program options.
Customers who use the Close the Loop program can receive reporting on total items/weight of materials diverted from landfill. Resource Recovery Certificates are available for your workplace to prove how much your company has diverted from landfill.
This information can be used in Environment Reports and Sustainable Development Reports.
You can purchase Enviroliner pens and rulers directly from us.
Material recovery processes ensure that valuable materials are not disposed of as waste and are reused. Close the Loop has a ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ guarantee and manages resources in accordance with the Close the Loop materials recovery hierarchy; the hierarchy focuses on returning materials to the highest possible value chain. Close the Loop works with original equipment manufacturers to identify and improve recycling and material recovery rates.
To give some idea of the benefit for the planet, for every 1 metric tonne of print consumables collected, recycled, and recovered by Close the Loop, over 10 times more carbon is saved through the avoided use of virgin materials.
The products recovered from the Close the Loop process include plastics, metals (ferrous and non-ferrous), ink, and toner.
Metals are sent for smelting. Plastics are separated by plastic type where possible and refined. The refined product is then sold as a raw material for manufacturing. Specific inkjet plastics along with inkjet ink is used to manufacture the Enviroliner pens. Ink is also refined, mixed, and sold as a printing ink for flexographic applications.
The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available from the manufacturer, provide comprehensive information about the environmental as well as health & safety hazards and risks associated with use and disposal of cartridges. Placing a cartridge in a box for recycling is the same as placing a cartridge in a bag for landfill disposal; in both cases the cartridges are intact and the exposure to toner or ink is extremely low.
The materials used in the manufacturing of toner and ink have all been assessed and are safe for use. Concern has been expressed about some of the ingredients of these products but this must be put in context. Toner and ink are safe to use and handle in line with the manufacture’s guidelines; deliberate ingestion or inhalation is not recommended and should be avoided. The use of the products in printers and deposits in collection boxes for recycling is considered safe.
Normal use of a product will result in minimal exposure, this has been assessed by the manufacturer and details of the related hazards (and risks) are on the MSDS.
Disposal in landfill will result in the release of toner and ink into the landfill although this may or may not result in a leak to the surrounding environment; landfills should be lined to prevent releases. Cartridges do not degrade in landfill therefore the environmental risk of methane (and other greenhouse gas) generation is low. The land filling of material results in the loss of the materials and prevents recycling taking place. Many cartridges also use engineering grade plastics which will take hundreds of years to break down in a landfill environment. Please visit the manufacturer’s website from more information; you should be able to download copies of their MSDS or contact them to discuss further.
As above, the hazards and risks vary by product and are listed on the MSDS.
Toner and ink are safe to use and handle in line with the manufacture’s guidelines; deliberate ingestion or inhalation is not recommended and should be avoided. The use of the products in printers and deposits in collection boxes for recycling are considered safe.
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidance on the handling of toner and other cartridges. The Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) show that the products are not hazardous waste, although care should still be taken not to inhale or ingest significant quantities as the ingredients that they contain are often classed as irritants. Virtually all products we use in our day to day life have some hazardous properties associated with them, it is important to evaluate and ensure all products, including cartridges are treated with due care and attention. After changing a cartridge, it is recommended that you wash your hands. When sealing a collection bag within the Close the Loop collection box, it is recommended that the neck of the bag is gently twisted, facing away from the body and tied using the cable ties supplied.
Lifting it out of the collection box should not result in the exposure to toner and the risks should be no greater than disposing of print consumables in a bin for disposal.
Please refer to the product MSDS. Close the Loop recommends that eyes are immediately washed out and that skin is washed with soap and water if exposed to ink or toner powder.
Our services range from environmental consulting and Design for Environment through to global take-back, bulk waste, and counterfeit destruction. All services that Close the Loop provides are ISO compliant and will assist the manufacturer in meeting their environmental and sustainability requirements for an end of life management solution for cartridges. See our services page for more information.