Staples Expands Ink Cartridge Recycling Program

(PRESS RELEASE – January 26, 2009) – On Feb. 1, 2009, Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world’s largest office products company, will become the first national retailer to offer a comprehensive ink and toner recycling program that rewards customers for recycling any brand or type of cartridge, regardless of manufacturer.

Staples, already the preeminent ink and toner retailer and a leader in recycling ink and toner cartridges, will now allow customers to earn $3 back in Staples Rewards on any brand or type of ink or toner just for choosing to recycle these products instead of throwing them away. In 2008, the company recycled more than 22 million ink and toner cartridges. With this program expansion, Staples expects to recycle more than 30 million cartridges in 2009 and become the world’s largest ink and toner recycler.

Recent studies have shown that seventy percent of cartridges used worldwide are thrown away and almost eight cartridges are discarded per second in the United States alone, adding to the pressing national e-waste problem and preventing tons of readily recyclable materials from being recovered and reused.

This expanded recycling program will make it even easier for customers to recycle their ink and toner cartridges while providing new ways to save money and be more eco-friendly. Customers can simply bring empty cartridges to any Staples store, each of which will earn them $3 back in Staples Rewards® or Staples Teacher Rewards®, on up to 10 cartridges per calendar month. Ink and toner recycling Staples Rewards are sent monthly and can be used on any Staples purchase in store, online or over the phone. This recycling expansion makes it easier for more customers to take advantage of the Staples Rewards program. For full program details, visit

“The emergence of user-friendly ink and toner recycling programs like the one Staples is offering is an important step in helping Americans make more environmentally-friendly choices in their daily lives by keeping valuable products and materials out of the waste stream,” said Matt Hale, Director of the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery of U.S. EPA.

“When it comes to ink and toner sales and recycling, Staples is the easy choice. Not only do we provide great value, but we can also reward customers for their support for the environment,” said Scott Rankin, VP/DMM of technology merchandising, Staples. “Always a strong supporter of environmental conservation through sustainable business practices, Staples continues to make it even easier for our customers to make a difference – what we call EcoEasy.”

Staples’ current recycling programs, part of its EcoEasy commitment, also include cell phones, PDAs, computers and office technology. In 2008, in addition to recycling more than 22 million ink and toner cartridges, the company also recycled approximately 4 million pounds of electronic waste. Staples also opened its first two stores registered with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability, and this month, achieved LEED Gold certification for its Biscayne Boulevard store in Miami. All Staples Copy & Print Centers nationwide use recycled paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the standard offering for black and white high-speed copy and print jobs, and Staples was the first national copy and print provider to make this choice.

About Staples’ Environmental Commitment

Staples long-standing commitment to sustainable business practices is based on four key environmental cornerstones: recycling, offering a wide assortment of eco-friendly products, investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy and educating customers and associates about sustainability. Through its EcoEasy commitment, Staples makes it easy for customers to make a difference for the environment by offering more than 3,000 eco-friendly products and providing everyday, in-store recycling for computers, office technology, personal electronics and ink and toner cartridges. For more on Staples environmental initiatives, please visit

About Staples

Staples, the world’s largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With $27 billion in sales, Staples serves businesses of all sizes and consumers in 27 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In July 2008, Staples acquired Corporate Express, one of the world’s leading suppliers of office products to businesses and institutions. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

8 Reactions
  1. I am not sure about all Staples, but the one near to my house is not recycling at all. They have all of their trash convined in one dumpster. I know because I am all about recycling and I found that the trow away new things. Someone told me about it and I go at least twice a month to check on their dumpster, I got calendars, agendas, leather chairs, desks, ink, paper, invitations, software, and more. And it makes me very upset they just put all of those good things on the dumpster with their trash and “recycling” ink cartriges, toner, electronics, etc. I wish we can do something about this. The same person told me that every single household separates their trash and the county just mix it at their “waiste processing place”, we have to work on this issues!!!

  2. Very good! We all need to play our part in helping to save the world

  3. Understanding the need to take a pro-active approach to reduce, reuse, and recycle; has a green attitude and continually shares recycling information and tips for their customers in the recycling section of their Blog ( ).

    Using remanufactured cartridges allows empty cartridges to continue their life cycle and service and it keeps them off the land where they won’t be able to disintegrate for 1,000 years. According to recent estimates only 20-40% of ink cartridges are recycled. The other 60-80% do not share the same luck.

    It is important we highlight the remanufacturing process of the items we sell; Our professionally remanufactured cartridges have been recycled to meet original equipment manufacturer specifications:

    * The recycling and remanufacturing process involves inspecting, disassembling, cleaning, replacing worn out parts, reassembling, and refilling the cartridges with ink or toner.
    * Once the process is complete, the cartridges is then tested, sealed, and packaged to be resold.
    * The empty cartridge is disassembled to remove toner and thoroughly cleaned before reassembly.
    * A new/certified OPC drum is installed in every toner cartridge to ensure optimum performance and yields.
    * Cartridges are generally machine-filled with custom blended toner designed to match both the OPC drum and wiper blade. We use toner powder designed to meet the stringent OEM specifications.
    * In almost every case, remanufactured cartridges contain as much as or more toner than the original cartridges.
    * All toner cartridges have a supply tank seal guaranteed not to leak in transit.
    * Quality audits are performed throughout the remanufacturing process and all ink & toner cartridges are print-tested and quality certified.

    Having a green attitude in all the things we use and purchase helps conserve natural resources. We might think one or two cartridges will not make a big difference but just think of the time it takes for it to completely disintegrate.


  4. I think a good public information campaign should be done about this. While many are advocating for refills and recycling toner and ink cartridges, many companies are telling their customers not to use refilled ink cartridges because it voids the printer warranty because it puts the printer at risk of technical damage.

  5. Always buy your ink cartridges from a trusted store. You don’t want to ruin your printer.

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