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Lexmark Turns Inkjet Cartridges to Recycled Pens

In the recent years, Lexmark has been earning a reputation in being an environment-conscious company contributing with its program that helps in our environment’s conservation and sustainability. From its efforts of designing its products with the environment in mind, to how they engineer their packaging to reduce materials, all the way to their recycling programs, Lexmark strives to be an environmentally responsible provider of products and services.

One of these recycling programs Lexmark have conducted is their Ink Cartridge Recycling Program, these allows its customers to ship back their used inkjet cartridges back to them to be remanufactured, re-filled with new toner and re-sale as quality Lexmark remanufactured printer cartridges. But last 2010, Lexmark came up with a bright idea to remanufacture or recycle empty inkjet cartridges and that’s by converting them into pens.

Working together with the Lexington-based printer maker and Close the Loop, a leading global recycler of imaging consumables including inkjet cartridges, made it possible to develop this groundbreaking recycling process.

The inkjet cartridge-based recycled pen was described by Lexmark Sustainability Manager John Gagel as, “It’s a completely new design that’s more functional. The ink flow is better than the classic roller-ball design we had first. All of the plastic in the pen is recycled, as is 94% of all materials in it.”

The Lexmark pen is the latest innovation by the company to expand its global efforts of sustainability. "From the design of the product to the end of life, we have some level of interaction or influence,” said Gagel regarding his sustainability staff. "You come in with an initial focus on saving trees, cleaning water and keeping the air clean, but when you dig into it and see how that applies to your business, you realize this is more about taking waste out of the business."

"We got the subject-matter experts thinking about sustainability and what can we do with our technology that makes our product more sustainable," he even added.

Presently, Lexmark pens are out in the market and are sold by retail partners. Beside from this remarkable recycling technology of its inkjet cartridges, Lexmark offers a recycling program for its toner cartridges. It’s also a part of their Lexmark Return Program wherein they offer discounts and credits to customers who return used printer cartridges.

One could only help that more companies out there would regard these environment-conscious efforts made by Lexmark and Close the Loop, to create a world with eco-friendly technology rather than a destructive one.


Erika Celario is an environmental blogger from, an online marketing firm that aims to be the leader in providing environmentally responsible printing solutions such as remanufactured toner cartridges and remanufactured ink cartridges.