About three ounces of petroleum are used to manufacture a single ink cartridge. That doesn’t count the oil equivalent of energy usage involved in the manufacturing process. When you’re talking about laser cartridges, the total goes up to about three quarts. Because ink cartridges are expensive both in terms of the resources to manufacture them and the cost to consumers, they are prime targets for ambitious recycling programs. Unfortunately the recycle rate on ink cartridges is only about 18%, resulting in millions of gallons of oil wasted per year.
I’d really like to see some hard data for the idea that it takes three quarts of oil to make a laser cartridge, or even three ounces to make an ink cartridge. I can find no support for this idea except on cartridge recycling sites. Given that ALL the plastic, synthetic rubber, paint and chemical feedstocks are made from less than 3% of a barrel of oil, the idea seems unlikely.
I can’t prove it but this sounds like the Internet meme circulating that says it takes 12 million barrels of oil to make [fill in a number of] plastic grocery bags. That’s false – most plastic grocery bags are not made from oil at all, but from natural gas.
Just offering a counterpoint here.
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