I love keeping up on the latest in printer and toner news, don’t you? Of course, you do! So you may have seen that Epson plans to discontinue manufacturing laser printers and will eventually only carry inkjet printers. The company explained that its decision is based on sustainability concerns, and it’ll fully transition to inkjet printers by 2026 to give customers time to adjust.
So are inkjet printers more sustainable than laser printers? And will other companies follow suit? Let’s talk about it.
Laser Printers vs. Inkjet Printers
Let’s briefly compare the two types of printers, which function differently to produce essentially the same thing—a printed sheet of paper. Laser printers use lasers to draw words or pictures using electrostatically-charged dots on a drum. This process attracts the dry toner, which heat bonds the toner to the paper.
An inkjet printer doesn’t use toner. Instead, the printer sprays small jets of ink onto the paper.
Inkjet printers do sound more simple when you think about the print process. So are laser printers obsolete? Far from it! Many big-name manufacturers like Brother and HP continue to sell laser printers in their markets, and many companies and printer users still prefer their laser printers for big print jobs.
Are Inkjet Printers More Sustainable than Laser Printers?
Maybe. There are fewer components since an inkjet doesn’t require a toner cartridge, drum, fusers, and other small parts. But there are other things to consider before you toss your laser printers. For instance, the cost of ink tends to be higher than the cost of toner, leading to a higher cost for each printed page. And many laser printers still far outshine their inkjet counterparts in speed and reliability, crucial things to consider when a deadline looms.
So what about sustainability, you ask? Toner cartridges are plastic, and toner is plastic. Well, yes, but an increasing number of toner cartridges are recycled or remanufactured (like ours!) and can live many lives. Many inks are petroleum-based, and petroleum is oil—what we make plastic out of. Some vegetable-based ink options are available, but not for all printer models. Another option is to choose remanufactured ink cartridges, but many companies discourage this by sensing and blocking remanufactured or off-brand cartridges.
Getting the Most Out of Your Printer
Whether you’re working with laser printers or inkjet printers, you can make your print cost per page more efficient and make your printer more sustainable with a few easy steps. First, check out our blog post calculating your print cost per page. It’ll give you an important baseline number. Then, you can recalculate periodically to determine if the cost is going up or down—and why. Finally, check out our tips on keeping printer costs down with timely maintenance and repairs. A working printer is a much more sustainable printer than a broken one!
Make sure you’re shopping with a reliable and trustworthy company like Toner Cartridge Depot to get genuine ink and toner cartridge brands.