Recycling initiative

Scheme aims for responsible cartridge disposal

Ian Gray: significant development (pic: Terry Murden)

A Scottish charity supplier of copier and print solutions has launched an initiative to help the printing industry improve its carbon footprint by disposing of cartridges responsibly.

Social Print and Copy CIC (SP&C) is encouraging organisations to use its Envirobox containers, made from recycled cardboard, which can take up to 60 used cartridges from any copier or printer-type technology.

The Edinburgh-based social enterprise partnered with Glasgow packaging firm WM Watson to produce the boxes which are available for distribution throughout the country to third sector commercial, corporate and government organisations.

It costs £30 per box transaction, with a dedicated SP&C team on hand to replace them every three months, or sooner should demand dictate an earlier uplift.

Envirobox is the latest initiative from the rapidly expanding social enterprise, which recently opened its first office in Glasgow on the back of £250,000 funding from Social Investment Scotland.

SP&C was formed in 2019 to address the mis-selling that is endemic in the printer and copier industries, particularly within the third sector where limited access to finance can lead to excessive costs for poorer quality machines over longer contracts.

Now also a training centre, the business provides valuable apprenticeship opportunities for young people in the local community.

Chief executive Ian Gray hailed the Envirobox initiative as one of the company’s most significant developments.

“It struck me there was a gap in the market, particularly in the third sector, when it came to responsibly disposing of consumables and I wanted to use that gap to deliver environmental good,” he said.

“When we started out we wanted to change the way the third sector met its printer and copier needs and this is a proud moment for us as the boxes are the first of their kind within the third sector as far as I am aware and will help companies with their carbon offset, which is vital in this day and age.

“When it comes to disposing of these products, there are real challenges for local authorities, from the wastage, to costs involved sending to landfill and the associated environmental issues.

“The aim with Envirobox is to reuse or repurpose the cartridges to give them a longer life by replacing all the components so they become extended life items.

“The alternative is to have the plastic ground down into pellets which are used to help make up the material for surfacing soft play areas, children’s parks and car mats.

“It’s really all about simplicity with accountability and is a landmark moment for us. It moves our environmental credentials forward, along with the sector’s, as we all strive to reduce our carbon footprints.”

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