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New toner cartridges: Higher CO2 footprint?

February 26, 2024

Recent data unveils new cartridges’ CO2 emissions may exceed earlier estimates, urging a push for reuse.

A recent update could redefine the future of plastics and chemical industries; the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) has unveiled findings: products made from crude oil have a significantly higher CO2 footprint than previously recognised.

The latest adjustments in the ecoinvent database, versions 3.9 and 3.10, have unveiled the underreported methane emissions from crude oil and natural gas extraction, leading to a near doubling of the carbon footprint for fossil naphtha and a roughly 30% increase for common plastics such as PET, PE, and PP.

This recalibration of carbon footprints underscores the urgent need for a shift towards renewable carbon sources in the chemical industry, a move that could significantly mitigate climate change impacts. The RCI’s findings bring to light the environmental costs of reliance on fossil fuels and bolster the case for bio-based and recycled materials, which now, more than ever, present a viable, less polluting alternative.

The latest findings suggest that toner cartridges may have a significantly higher CO2 footprint due to their fossil-based origins and reinforce the critical need for increased reuse and recycling practices within the sector. By opting for remanufactured cartridges, the carbon footprint can be reduced by up to 32% per cartridge compared to new ones.

“The defossilisation of the chemical industry is more important for climate protection than previously thought. The importance of bio-based and CO2-based carbon has been underestimated because data for crude oil and natural gas has been systematically embellished. Now, the first steps have been taken to recognise the true impact of petroleum use. Politicians, therefore, have another reason to support the chemical industry’s transition away from fossil carbon much more strongly,” said Michael Carus, RCI’s Executive Manager.

As Europe grapples with its policy direction on renewable materials, the RCI’s revelations may mark a turning point for both industry and policymakers to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Carbon Footprint CO2 Consumables Environment Europe Michael Carus RCI

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