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Recycling Solutions

Staples offers responsible, free and convenient recycling solutions for technology, ink and toner cartridges, and rechargeable batteries at all of our retail stores in the U.S., most of Canada, and various locations in Europe. Customers value these recycling programs because we help make it easier for them to be more sustainable. Managing this material flow is also valuable to us as a business, since we generate additional store visits and traffic through these programs; foster a positive brand experience with customers by helping them recycle traditionally hard-to-recycle items; and can offer incentives to customers to drive new purchases when they recycle. Plus these programs reduce the lifecycle environmental impacts of the technology products we sell. We’ve recently branched into other recycling services to continue to meet the needs of our customers for other hard-to-recycle waste streams.

Electronic waste recycling

Electronic Items

collected for recycling globally. (Millions of pounds)

electronic-items-collected

In 2007, Staples was the first U.S. retailer to offer a national electronics recycling program. We have been offering free office electronics recycling to all customers in the U.S. since 2012. Customers can bring any brand of office technology in any condition, regardless of where they purchased it, to Staples® stores for free recycling by our recycler, Electronics Recyclers International (ERI). We have similar eWaste programs in Canada, where a variety of electronic waste is collected, with some variations and exclusions depending on the province. Staples is an e-Stewards Enterprise, meaning we have committed to using certified e-Stewards® Recyclers wherever feasible to handle the electronic materials we collect for recycling.

Staples also offers a technology recycling service for all of our U.S. Staples Business Advantage® customers. This B2B recycling program allows businesses to recycle old electronics such as computers, cell phones, keyboards, telecom equipment and multifunction devices in three easy steps:

  1. Order recycling boxes online.
  2. Fill boxes with electronics and ship back to Staples using the provided return label.
  3. Receive a Certificate of Recycling from Staples certifying that their electronics have been properly recycled and data was safely removed.

In 2015, Staples collected more than 16.7 million pounds of eWaste from our U.S. customers and more than 26.5 million pounds of eWaste globally.

Vision

Recycle the equivalent of 100% of the technology products we sell.

Long-Term Goals

  • Annually recycle 100 million ink and toner cartridges globally by 2020.
  • Collect 40 million pounds of technology waste for recycling annually by 2020.

Electronics Recycling Challenge

Through participation in EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge, Staples is committed to increasing responsible electronics recycling by increasing the volumes we collect from customers and working with recognized recycling partners.

2012 Baseline Reporting Form

2013 Annual Reporting Form

2014 Annual Reporting Form

2015 Annual Reporting Form

Ink and cartridge recycling

Ink & Toner Cartridges

collected for recycling globally. (Millions of units)

cartridges-collected

Recycling ink pays big dividends for the environment and our customers. In addition to reducing the amount of waste going to landfills and reusing valuable resources, our U.S. retail and staples.com® customers receive $2 back in Staples Rewards® for each ink or toner cartridge recycled (with certain restrictions).

Ink and toner recycling is also available to our Staples Business Advantage customers. The recycling program allows our drivers to pick up empty ink and toner cartridges directly from customers when we are delivering their office supplies. Canada retail locations and our retail locations in other markets also offer free recycling of ink and toner.

In the U.S., Staples recycled more than 50.4 million ink and toner cartridges in 2015 and more than 56.8 million cartridges globally. However, the volume of ink and toner cartridges collected annually for recycling continues to decline. This annual decrease is a result of several factors, including a slowing demand for core office supplies like print cartridges as customers print less, the increasing use of extended-life cartridges, which print more pages per cartridge, the decreasing number of stores available for drop-off as we right-size our retail network, and adjustments to our ink recycling rewards program.

Furniture Recycling

Staples Business Advantage in the U.S. teamed up with Davies Office in 2015 to offer customers a unique program to trade in and remanufacture their existing office furniture. Davies Office is a leading provider of high-quality remanufactured office furniture solutions, taking older furniture assets and transforming them to look and perform just like brand-new furniture, at a fraction of the cost. Staples Business Advantage customers will now be able to capitalize on innovative product banking and exchange programs and source high-quality remanufactured furniture instead of keeping their old assets in storage or sending them to a landfill. The benefits include updating office workplaces cost-effectively, earning credit toward green building standards like LEED, and receiving detailed reporting quantifying the environmental benefits.

In addition, Staples Business Advantage offers a program through IRN: The Reuse Network (IRN) to support furniture donation and reuse for our U.S. customers. IRN works with a variety of organizations including universities, public and independent schools, corporations and government agencies to place their surplus furniture assets for reuse. It then matches those assets with U.S. and worldwide charities to find the best use for them socially and environmentally, at a cost that is less than throwing the assets away.

Staples collected more than 514 million ink and toner cartridges for recycling in the U.S. from 2005 to 2015.

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