An Australian company, Downer is fixing the roads with used printer toner. It makes a product called TonerPave from a mix of asphalt toner powder, wax, minerals, pigments, iron oxide, silica, and sometimes waste acrylic paint.
The product was initially tested back in 2010 and has since been used to recycle more than 20,000 tons of cartridges. An estimate puts the use of TonerPave to have reduced the emissions by 40% as compared to what they would have been had they been using conventional asphalt.
Downer has a partnership Close the Loop, which “is dedicated to making the Circular Economy a reality by providing best-in-class sustainability solutions to companies that want to enhance their Corporate Social Responsibility through effective and efficient recovery and reuse of valuable resources from their products.” Close the loop is responsible for developing the key ingredient in TonerPave called Modified Toner Polymer (MTP).
This initiative has other big names attached to it as well. Toshiba is one of the partners in the initiative to recycle toner. They only announced it this week that it hit a record in 2017 for recycled toner products, recycling more than 280 metric tons of used toner. They say that creating asphalt is not the only option for reusing printer waste.
There are companies using the cartridges to make park benches and other supplies can be used to make pens and rulers. Toshiba wants to increase the recycling and collects old printers at many locations and encourages people to recycle any printer parts there.
It is nice to see that such initiatives to recycle everyday goods are being taken and people are getting more and more aware of protecting the environment. However, this is still not enough and we need to see more similar initiatives if we hope to really benefit the environment.
You can see the addition of TonerPave in the video below: