Konica Minolta SA’s Toner Recycling Project

| 19 June 2018

Did you know that an empty printer cartridge will take 1,000 years to decompose? And that globally at least 80% (+- 13 million) of used toner and ink cartridges end up in landfills? These are frightening facts!

The reuse or refilling of toner bottles or cartridges for Konica Minolta devices is not permissible, and as a local socially and ecologically aware organisation, Konica Minolta South Africa takes its responsibility of the environment seriously and seeks opportunities to make the way it does business, more sustainable.

To this end, the company is proud to provide a service to the local market with an environmentally-friendly recycling programme. 

Through the company’s supplier development beneficiary, New Circle Green Solutions, used toner bottles, cartridges and/or imaging units are collected from clients who have selected to participate in the recycling programme. 

Various materials are recycled:

  • PAPER/CARDBOARD: Separated and supplied to paper recyclers
  • PLASTIC: LD-PE; HD-PE; LLD-PE; PP; ABS; PET; HI-PS is sold to various manufactures that granulate or pelletized. These plastic pellets are then use to manufacture various recycle products as shown on the right.
  • METAL: Aluminum forms the bulk of the recovered metals which are sorted and sold as scrap or re-purposed into consumer products.
  • TONER: Though South African legislation classifies printer cartridge waste as hazardous, KM manufactures polymerized toner which is plant-based biomass, ie using renewable bio-organic resources other than fossil-derived resources, and therefore not toxic to the environment.

Toner and waste toner are incorporated as pigment to colour a variety of plastics and paint for vibrant colours, which prevent toner from going to landfill. 

The Konica Minolta Toner Recycling project was launched in 2014 and to date (June 2018) in excess of 60 tons of used toner bottles, cartridges and imaging units have been recycled. 

During the ‘research and development’ phase, Konica Minolta South Africa used the recycled materials to produce corporate gifts, which included coasters and  plant pots. In addition, Konica Minolta South Africa is excited to announce that there are outdoor furniture options being produced, such as umbrella stands and picnic benches, some of which have already been donated to schools.

Over and above, clients who participate in the project receive a certificate presented in a ‘recycled’ frame. 

 Make a difference and join Konica Minolta South Africa in its efforts to stop any of its products ending up in a landfill.