By Marcus Leach

New research from the UK's biggest online cartridge retailer has revealed that a third of small businesses over spend on their office printing, wasting almost £1,000 a year.

Furthermore, only a tenth admitted to ‘actively researching’ printing costs to ensure they are receiving the best deals available.

In a bid to investigate the spending habits of small businesses across Britain, the UK’s biggest online cartridge retailer has conducted a study of 1,194 business owners, all of which had fifty or less members of staff, with an aim to discover more about their expenditures.

The study, conducted by, initially asked the respondents if they had ‘actively researched’ printing costs in order to ensure they are receiving the best deals available to them; to which just a tenth, 11%, said ‘yes’.

With an aim to investigate the matter further, the 89% of respondents who stated they didn’t research printing costs were asked how many documents, including emails, they printed in a standard working week that they felt they did not need to print. According to the results, the majority of the respondents said their business printed ’500 sheets’ of paper ‘unnecessarily’ each working week.

When considering this research and that an average ink cartridge costs £28 and can print approx 1,100 pages, with toner also costing around £116 and printing up to 10,500 sheets of paper, this would mean that the majority of small businesses across the UK are wasting up to £18.50 a week on ink and toner; equating to £962 a year.

Furthermore, the total number of respondents were asked if they regularly ‘recycled’ the office’s discarded printing to which 17%, said ‘no’. A further quarter, 26%, of the respondents stated that they ‘recycled most’ of the offices discarded printing, whilst the remaining 57% cited that they ‘recycled all’ of the office’s discarded printing.

To encourage the respondents to save money and recycle their printing in the future, those who took part in the study who stated they did not were asked if they ‘planned’ to investigate the prices of printing and recycling options, to which more than three quarters, 76%, said ‘yes’.

“It is of course disappointing to see that so many small businesses are wasting money on unnecessary printing and not being mindful about the documents that they print. I am sure that many small businesses across the UK have experienced a few financial problems throughout their duration and this is when £962 a year would certainly be very useful," Ian Cowley, Managing Director of, said.

“I would strongly recommend businesses look into the costs of their printing services, especially businesses that require a great deal of printing. It is great to see that the majority of the businesses recycle their discarded paper, it is even more positive that that the majority of the respondents who don’t recycle do plan to in the future.”

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