Customers of Konica Minolta South Africa, a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, now have the option of recycling their Konica Minolta toner bottles, cartridges and imaging units through the company's new recycling programme. The programme will allow local clients to reduce their environmental impact by ensuring that toner cartridges and bottles never reach landfill sites and are instead recycled into useful products.
"Some of the plastics used to manufacture printer cartridges can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, leaving more than enough time for their toxic chemicals to spread into the soil and pollute the environment. As a local socially and ecologically aware organisation, Konica Minolta South Africa takes its responsibility to the environment around us seriously and seeks out opportunities to make the way we do business more sustainable. Corporate social responsibility is ingrained in our corporate values," says Laetitia Coetzer, the special projects manager for Konica Minolta South Africa. "To this end we saw, after months of research and development, the first proto-type of a recycled product in the form of a vegetable and/or herb pot, made from 100% recycled material, was created. The ultimate aim is to distribute these pots to places where planting space is limited and in rural areas, to allow communities the opportunity to create sustainable food gardens."
Even though Konica Minolta's polymerised toner is non-toxic as it is made from plant-based material - and will therefore have no negative impact on the environment - South African legislation classifies printer cartridge waste as hazardous and the company wants to ensure that there is no negative environmental impact whatsoever.
Over the next three months, the company is committed to delivering recycling bins to all of its branches to make it easy for customers to drop off their used toner bottles. Bins will also be delivered to high volume users which, once full, will be collected by the company, at no cost to either the branch or the customer.
"Since the launch of this project in October 2014 to date, Konica Minolta South Africa has recycled in excess of twelve tonnes of toner bottles, cartridges and imaging units. By recycling old printer cartridges, Konica Minolta South Africa hopes to divert thousands of tons of waste from landfill sites, preserving our environment for future generations," she concludes. "Even the paint used to colour these vibrant vegetable pots has been recycled from toner powder, reinforcing the fact that we take the 'cradle to grave' responsibility of our products extremely seriously."