Aussie businesses neglect responsible E-waste recycling?

New research figures from Fuji Xerox are serving as a reminder to business owners to consider how their choices around office equipment and paper usage can affect their business’ carbon footprint. 



New research figures from Fuji Xerox are serving as a reminder to business owners to consider how their choices around office equipment and paper usage can affect their business’ carbon footprint. 



New research conducted by Fuji Xerox Printers found that when purchasing office equipment, only five per cent of business owners consider a product’s environmentally friendly features. The research, which surveyed 1,000 Aussie employers and employees on their office environments and work practices, found that one in four businesses have unused printers or copiers lying around their offices, and 28 per cent of those have three or more idle devices.

Reflecting a lack of understanding of how to responsibly recycle E-waste, the survey found that 26 per cent of respondents dispose of obsolete electronic equipment through general waste, while nine per cent don’t dispose of it at all. Anthony Toope from Fuji Xerox Printers said that many business owners don’t realise the impact a fleet of printers and copiers can have in terms of energy consumption, paper usage and e-waste.

“Safe e-waste recycling is vital,” Toope said. “E-waste is growing three times faster than other types of waste in Australia and it produces toxic materials which are damaging to humans and animals. Business managers should dispose of discarded electrical and electronic devices through e-waste collection services, such as TechCollect, to help keep e-waste out of landfill."

The research found that three in five office workers don’t use recycled paper and 40 per cent don’t choose double-sided printing. Over 50 per cent have not been fully trained on how to use their printers effectively, leading to unnecessary printing and wasted paper and excessive energy consumption.

“The average Australian worker uses a whopping 10,000 A4 sheets of paper a year, suggesting the paperless office continues to be a myth,” Toope said. “With that in mind, educating staff on how to reduce their carbon footprint can contribute to creating an environmentally-friendly environment.”

Tips for greening up your office printing
· Look for energy saving features that put printers to ‘sleep’ in idle periods.
· Consider switching to renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and geothermal energy.
· Opt for printing technologies that can learn a workgroup’s usage patterns.
· Solid Ink technology produces up to 90 per cent less waste versus comparable laser devices. Solid Ink printers use less energy than similar laser printers over their life cycle.
· Encourage employees to only print as necessary.
· Use the computer preview function to proofread documents on screen to avoid printing unwanted pages.
· Print double-sided (duplex) or set as a default print option where possible.
· Use paper trays to collect single-sided printed scrap paper that can be used for notes or re-printed on.
· Opt for recycled paper that adheres to internationally recognised standards for sustainable forestry management.

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