On August 19, Staples announced that it had recycled 350 million ink and toner cartridges since 2005, averaging 60 million per year over the last three years. Staples has thus recycled 182 million pounds of plastic and metals, which is roughly the weight of an aircraft carrier or 400 Statues of Liberty.
"Staples is America's number one choice for ink and toner, in part because of our great cartridge recycling program," said Mark Buckley, the Vice President of Environmental Affairs. "As the largest retail recycler of ink and toner in North America, Staples is thrilled to be the first to reach this milestone, as we help customers reduce their environmental footprint and save money at the same time."
Staples has several recycling programs, and they offer free recycling for such items as computers, laptops, and monitors. Their recycling partner, Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), is a certified e-Stewards Recycler, which means they use responsible recycling methods to ensure environmental protection. Staples' ink and toner cartridge recycling program offers $2.00 back in Staples Rewards per cartridge. The reward can be used towards buying anything from Staples, whether in-store or on-line. Customers may recycle up to ten cartridges per month.
Last month, Staples had celebrated another milestone, when it had its 500th facility certified by the EPA's ENERGY STAR program. In addition, Staples earned ENERGY STAR's Partner of the Year Award for the third year running. It also received Partner of the Year Award - Sustained Excellence Award, the EPA's highest ENERGY STAR award that honors organizations that have conserved energy year after year. Staples was first honored by the EPA for its work in energy efficiency in 1999.
Staples has been committed to protecting the environment for years. In addition to offering recycling services, it sells sustainable products and services, like recycled desk accessories and compostable cups. Staples also encourages energy efficiency and renewable energy use within its facilities. In April, 2013, Staples installed its 37th solar array on its headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts. According to a press release by Staples, that installation brings the company's total use of solar power to almost 14 megawatts -- enough power to fuel 1,800 homes for one year.
Staples was co-founded by Leo Kahn and Thomas G. Stemberg in 1986 in Framingham. It currently has over 1500 stores in the U.S. alone; over 40 of them are in Maryland. It is now the largest office supply company in the world and the second largest internet retailer. In addition to ink and toner cartridges, Staples sells office supplies, furniture, computers, copy and print services, and breakroom supplies.