Brother reaches 40 million recycling milestone

Brother has recycled 40 million toner cartridges globally since the launch of its programme in Europe in 2004, enough to reach from its global Recycling Technology Centre in Wales to its headquarters in Japan.

Globally, customers can return their empty cartridges to one of Brother’s four remanufacturing facilities, with others located in Slovakia, the US, and Asia.

Each cartridge the business receives goes through a stringent checking process, with components either reused or replaced, meaning most cartridges can be remanufactured to restore them to their original condition. Any parts that can’t be reused are recycled by Brother, ensuring that nothing goes to landfill.

Brother’s recycling and environment technology centre at Ruabon in North Wales uses 100 per cent green-certified electricity to power the plant and a fleet of electric vehicles and was recently certified as carbon neutral by The Carbon Trust.

The business also donates to the rainforest charity, CoolEarth, for every used cartridge it receives.

Craig McCubbin, Managing Director of Brother Industries UK and Brother Industries Slovakia said, “to say we’re proud of this achievement is an understatement. Of the 40 million cartridges our customers have returned, 86 per cent have been remanufactured using our market-leading process, which is unique across the printing landscape.

“Our waste hierarchy is simple. We want to reuse as much as we can. In 2021 our remanufactured toner cartridges had a 33% lower carbon footprint than new ones. And by remanufacturing in the way we do, we save approximately 5,300 tonnes of CO2 globally every year – which is equivalent to taking 1,150 cars off the road.”

Brother’s collection scheme has been zero waste to landfill accredited since 2013. By cutting down on waste at all points of the lifecycle, the business believes it can support customers reach their own sustainability goals.

Craig added, “our promise is simple when a customer returns an empty cartridge to us, we will remanufacture or recycle all parts so nothing goes to landfill. As a result of this process, an average business can save up to 40kg of CO2 per year, or more, simply by sending back used genuine Brother toner cartridges, helping to reduce their carbon footprint and impact.

“We’ve had great feedback from customers on our recycling and remanufacturing scheme, but we’re not content on stopping there. In the next three years, we plan to grow the number of cartridges we remanufacture. We are also looking at our ink and hardware returns and have ambitious plans to ensure customers can return all Brother products.”

Brother’s programme began by processing a handful of cartridges in 2004. Since then, it has grown to recycle and remanufacturing approximately 3 million toner cartridges a year.

Customers can return Brother cartridges free of charge via their website.

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