• Press Release

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Names Lexmark as 2020 Design for Recycling® Award Winner

Lexmark Toner Cartridges Contain Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic Content

(Washington, DC) – In recognition of its innovation and commitment to sustainability in the design and manufacture of new products, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) names Lexmark as its 2020 Design for Recycling® (DFR) Award winner. The DFR Award is ISRI’s most prestigious award given annually to the most innovative contribution to products designed with recycling in mind. Lexmark received the award specifically for the design of its toner cartridges, of which 95 percent contain at least some post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic content.

“As ISRI’s highest honor, the Design for Recycling Award recognizes those who put recycling and sustainability at the forefront of their product design,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “Through the development of its toner cartridges from the initial concept stages all the way to end of life, Lexmark has worked to actively incorporate the design for recycling principles in every element. ISRI is proud to recognize Lexmark as the 2020 design for recycling award recipient, and we look forward to their continued work to design with recycling in mind.”

In addition to 95 percent of Lexmark toner cartridges containing some post-consumer recycled content, Lexmark reuses and recycles cartridge parts through planned cartridge design, selection of materials that work well with its recycling process, and enabling return of end-of-life cartridges for reuse and recycling. The company has its own R2 certified recycling center where it aims to receive every cartridge back for recycling. Having its own recycling facility ensures that Lexmark has a higher return rate for its end of life cartridges, which it pays to have shipped to its facility, eliminating costs to the consumer.

“Lexmark provides sustainable solutions throughout the entire product lifecycle—from sustainable design to efficient use to responsible recycling,” said John Gagel, Chief Sustainability Officer, Lexmark. “Sustainable design is one of Lexmark's key CSR pillars. Winning the DFR Award validates our commitment to using materials derived from sustainable sources that are designed to have minimal impact on the environment throughout the print lifecycle.” 

Lexmark started planning for PCR content in the plastics in its cartridges in 2008, accomplishing two percent. In 2018, the average PCR content included in its latest line of cartridges was an average of 21 percent. Thus leading to the current PCR of at least some recycled content in 92 percent of toner cartridges.

Lexmark received the award during ISRI’s Virtual 2020 Awards Ceremony on October 21.

To be eligible for ISRI’s Design for Recycling® Award, a product must be designed/redesigned and manufactured to:

  • Contain the maximum amount of materials that are recyclable;
  • Be easily recycled through current or newly designed recycling processes and procedures;
  • Be cost effective to recycle whereby the cost to recycle does not exceed the value of its recycled materials;
  • Be free of hazardous materials that are not recyclable or impede the recycling process;
  • Minimize the time and cost involved to recycle the product;
  • Reduce the use of raw materials by including recycled materials and/or components; and
  • Have a net gain in the overall recyclability of the product while reducing the overall negative impact on the environment.

ISRI began presenting the award more than 10 years ago. Previous winners include Nestlé Waters North America, Dell Inc., EcoStrate, Samsung, LG Electronics, Inc., Cascades Fine Papers Group, Hewlett-Packard, The Herman Miller Company, and Wind Simplicity.


The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents 1,300 companies in 20 chapters in the U.S. and more than 40 countries that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating nearly $110 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides more than 500,000 Americans with good jobs.

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