Toner is a powder mixture used in laser printers and photocopiers to form the printed text and images on paper, in general through a toner cartridge. Mostly granulated plastic, early mixtures added only carbon powder and iron oxide, however, mixtures have since been developed containing polypropylene, fumed silica, and various minerals for triboelectrification. Toner using plant-derived plastic also exists as an alternative to petroleum plastic. Toner particles are melted by the heat of the fuser, and are thus bonded to the paper.
In earlier photocopiers, this low-cost carbon toner was poured by the user from a bottle into a reservoir in the machine. Later copiers, and laser printers from the first 1984 Hewlett-Packard LaserJet, feed directly from a sealed toner cartridge.