Neighbours in business recycle 25,000 ink cartridges

The Sutton Coldfield branch of the Smart Cartridge franchise has managed to recycle and reuse 25,000 ink cartridges since the company was launched in November 2005 and has increased its business-to-business stationery supplies stock to 20,000 items.

The branch owners are neighbours Graham Jones and Stewart Ellis who decided to go into business together because of their shared interest in helping the environment and sport.

Graham said: 'We share a common awareness of our respective sports and different skills and this has carried on in our working relationship. We both want the same goal for the business and recognise that our different personalities and skills is a benefit that can only help us achieve this.

Smart Cartridge helps businesses and domestic clients with the changes to the Landfill Directive Laws. The legislation requires non-hazardous waste to undergo treatment before disposal in order to help fight the environmental issues surrounding landfill sites.

Stewart explains: 'More than 30 million inkjet cartridges are dumped each year in the UK alone, which is shocking when you consider the plastic used in a typical cartridge is made of engineering grade polymers that take at least 1000 years to decompose.

'We proactively encourage local home users, businesses, schools, offices, clubs, the healthcare sector and other organisations to recycle and re-use their empty cartridges. We also offer branded recycling bins, which organisations throughout the country can use to collect empty cartridges. The cartridges are remanufactured and returned the same day, during which time they have been fully cleaned, remanufactured and tested to guarantee 100 per cent printing quality - all at no extra charge.

'This is something that businesses should be taking very seriously as it means the onus is on them to make sure their waste is dealt in the proper environmental manner or they will be fined as per the new legislation.'

The company was established in 2001 in Edinburgh and now has 60 franchised outlets worldwide. Smart Cartridge focuses on ink cartridge refills and laser cartridge remanufacture and over the past few years has expanded its range of products to include stationery, specialist papers and own brand compatible cartridges.