In 1990, Canon launched its Toner Cartridge Collection and Recycling Program, the first such program in the industry. The program is continuing operating today. Returned used toner cartridges are brought to Canon recycling sites, where they are sorted by model on the recycling line. Reusable parts are picked up prior to crushing. Washing and maintenance are performed as needed, and the parts are reused in new products. Parts that cannot be reused are crushed and separated by material using physical characteristics such as electrostatic properties and specific gravity.
The primary material of toner cartridges is the high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) used primarily for the housing. HIPS can be used repeatedly to make new toner cartridges a unique feature of Canon’s closed-loop recycling process.
Canon conducts used toner cartridge collection in 23 countries and regions (with a cumulative collection volume of about 394,000 tons as of the end of 2017) for recycling at four sites, in Japan, the United States, France, and China (so called the localized recycling). Thanks to our initiatives, as of 2017 we have achieved a cumulative reduction in the use of new resources of approximately 273,000 tons.
In the Canon Automated Recycling System for Toner Cartridges (CARS-T) which introduced at Canon Eco Technology Park, used toner cartridges are crushed and the materials are automatically separated using their different physical characteristics. The main material extracted from the housing is high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) with a purity of 99% or greater. A clean and silent operation, the CARS-T process also ensures there are no messy toner leaks from the sealed process units.
Canon has been collecting and recycling used ink cartridges since 1996. In Japan, we are part of the Ink Cartridge Satogaeri (Homecoming) Project, a joint program by printer manufacturers to collect cartridges via boxes placed in post offices, libraries, and other local government facilities. Schools also collect cartridges through activities related to the Bellmark Campaign.
Outside Japan, Canon places cartridge collection boxes in large retail stores, affiliate sales outlets, shopping malls, companies, schools, libraries, train stations, Canon service stores, Canon showrooms, and other locations, depending on the circumstances in each country or region.
As of the end of March 2018, Canon’s collecting program was operational in 35 countries and regions worldwide, and the total volume of cartridges that had been collected up to the end of 2017 reached 2,095 tons.
With the Canon Automated Recycling System for Ink Cartridges (CARS-I) which introduced at Canon Eco Technology Park, a camera-based automatic identification and sorting process is applied to the used ink cartridges as they are transported on a conveyor belt. The entire production line is automated, yielding a fully integrated process for the recycling of cartridges from disassembly and pulverization to washing.