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Expanding the Circle of Recycling in the Printing Business

Technologies and services for cartridge recycling

Brother sells laser printers in Europe, the US, and many other countries worldwide, serving a wide range of customers from SOHO (small office and home office) to large corporations. Laser printers print by fixing a colored powder called toner, which is made of various substances, to paper using heat. Brother sells toner in special containers called cartridges, developed specifically for each model to provide stable, high print quality. When cartridges run out of toner, customers need to dispose of and replace them with new cartridges. We received clear requests from our customers asking about recycling the cartridges, and we started to address this issue.

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Newly developing easy-to-recycle cartridges

Upon receiving requests for cartridge recycling and the impact on the environment in mind, we created newly designed cartridges with enhanced durability, capable of being recycled multiple times. We have also produced an automated recycling system to ensure that we deliver recycled cartridges with the same high quality as new ones.

Expanding know-how to the world

In 2004, we started recycling cartridges in Europe. We created a system that allows customers to return their used cartridges free of charge and, collected cartridges get recycled at Brother's factory in Slovakia. The know-how and data accumulated at the Recycling Technology Center in the UK are shared with Brazil, the US, Japan, and other countries as the recycling area grows. We expanded our recycling system to the world.

Toner Cartridges Recycle

Initiatives in New Zealand

Brother International (New Zealand), which started recycling in 2008, provides a system where customers can order bags and boxes for collecting recycled products and send them, free of charge, from anywhere in the country, to major retail stores and service agents in various locations. To date, 99%* of the used cartridges we collect are recycled.

*As of December 2019.

Working Together for a Sustainable Future​ (Figures in the video are as of December 2019)


SDGs goal 12 aims to create "responsible consumption and production" including target 12.5 which aims to "substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse” to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns. Recycling toner cartridges reduce waste in homes and offices and contributes to a sustainable society.

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