Individuals looking to make their ink supplies last longer could find there are several steps they can take to improve the efficiency of their printer use.

Nathan Emberton of explained that people printing out web pages should be careful they only reproduce the information they need and avoid unnecessary graphics such as ads.

"Most web pages use a CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) print-friendly version of their web pages to automatically remove unimportant parts, or have an alternative version of the page that is shown when clicking the print icon," he explained.

Mr Emberton also observed people should think carefully about their choice of machine when buying a printer.

He stated some models combine their colour cartridges into a single unit, which could make initial costs cheaper, but higher volume users may find it is more convenient to have individual ink tanks that can be replaced separately when one has run out.

Wireless printers may also be a good option for many people, as a recent survey by PC Advisor found 70 per cent of people say they have used a Wi-Fi connection to hook up a gadget other than a computer to their home network.