Did you know that your thermal barcode printer could help the cement industry?
When the subject of recycling is brought up, we often talk of paper and plastic labels. But consumables, particularly ink cartridges, are also a challenge. As the ink is not recyclable, it often contaminates the cartridges, toners and ribbons. What do we do with these used consumables then? Many companies simply dispose of them, but some companies are beginning to find ways to reuse and recycle these products.
We had already tackled this issue some time ago; Black PCR ink is a type of ink recycled from inkjet printer cartridges and toners.
With this water based ink for flexographic printing presses, thousands of consumables are reused rather than ending up in a landfill. The impact on the environment is therefore much smaller.
The French company Armor, a specialist in thermal printing, has launched a recovery program for used ribbons. The company recovers PET plastic from the ink ribbons used in thermal transfer printers.
So, what to do with this recovered PET? Replace fossil fuels! In other words, Armor makes a “SRF” (Solid Recovered Fuel) with the consumables. It is produced by shredding and dehydrating the tapes in question. This recycled fuel is then used instead of fossil fuel. Used tapes may be more useful than you might think.
This program and process are still being tested and are still in development, but the numerous innovations concerning the recycling of consumables look promising! For example, SRF fuels are used in the cement industry, particularly for furnaces. Your used ribbons could help make cement. Who knew?