At most it saves half the paper going through a printer.
But the cost is the additional cost of the duplex printer. So if there’s a nifty $50 one-sided printer that does what you want, buying a $75 duplex printer may not be much of an ecological deal for a home user at all. How long does it take you to go through the $25 difference in paper? Years? Will the printer even last that long?
In ecology, money often = pollution, if it’s a manufactured good.
But assuming everything can be printed two-sided is optimistic. Some common things, such as a short letter or a web page printout might be only one page.
Also, most paper is not made to be run through a printer twice. (Reusing “blank” paper a printer passed through is one of the most common reasons for jams, and for gumming up the works generally.)
So in sum, duplex printing might make sense for a business where it can be used to print 1,000s of pages a year, but for many applications — duplex printing might cost more ecologically than it appears to be worth.
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