3RD PARTY COLLECT 700% MORE EMPTIES !!!
3RD PARTY COLLECT 700% MORE EMPTIES !!!
2007-07-25 at 11:52:00 am #18461
Printer Cartridges Still Being Thrown Away
used printer cartridges are thrown away with less than half re-used or
even recycled, according to a new report from InfoTrends.
2007Most used printer cartridges are thrown away with less than half
re-used or even recycled, according to a new report from InfoTrends.The
printer supplies industry is failing to support environmental goals
with OEMs and focusing on new cartridge sales and printer supply profit
mountains. Meanwhile, some appear to see recycling – where the whole
cartridge is broken down – as a neat way to avoid cartridge re-filling,
which hurts profits.It also appears that the WEEE directive is making
it more difficult to re-use printer cartridges, an example perhaps of
the law of unintended consequences.
In the report, “2007
Supplies Recycling: US and Europe,” it is clear that original printer
manufacturers (OEMs) and re-manufacturers – 3rd party suppliers of
refilled toner and ink cartridges – are competing to collect used
cartridges. The OEMs will recycle them; have them broken down into
component materials, while the re-manufacturers will try to profitably
refill and resell cartridges, at lower prices than brand new
cartridges.”Like a milk bottle, a printer cartridge contains a
consumable. Once used up the cartridge could be used again, re-filled
with ink or toner, and supplied to customers. A combination of
re-use-unfriendly product design and printer OEM reluctance to support
re-use is leading to most used cartridges either being thrown away or
recycled into components.
Third-party supplies companies collect
70 percent more empty OEM toner cartridges and 700 percent more empty
OEM inkjet cartridges than the OEMs themselves.Collection is difficult
as customers may be expected to post used cartridges back to a recycler
or re-manufacturer. The cost of the postage can exceed the value of a
returned empty cartridge to a re-manufacturer. The recently introduced
WEEE directive will not help re-manufacturers as empty cartridges will
go to local authority or other recycling centers – effectively out of
reach of the re-manufacturers.
Recycling appears to be endorsed
by printer OEMs as a way of stopping used cartridges getting into the
hands of re-manufacturers who could then undercut the OEM’s printer
cartridge prices. The report finds that ‘Through re-manufacturing, 3rd
party supplies companies are able, on average, to reduce overall demand
for new cartridges by about 20 percent.’ It suggests that some printer
manufacturers, such as Xerox and Lexmark, are beginning to realize that
re-use is better than recycling.
Re-use of toner and ink
cartridges is made more difficult by the profusion of different types.
If there were only a few standard sizes and type of cartridge, such as
batteries with AA standard sizes, then re-use would be much easier.
Cartridges are also not designed for re-use. That is why
re-manufacturers prefer so-called virgin empties, cartridges used once
only. Each use cycle lessens the likelihood that the cartridge can be
profitably used again.The report finds that ’80 percent of
re-manufactured toner cartridges and 86 percent of re-manufactured
inkjet cartridges are thrown away’ because it is uneconomic to refill
them again.While printer manufacturers sell printers as loss leaders
and make the bulk of their profit on brand new cartridge sales, this is
just not likely to happen. Wouldn’t it be nice if HP stopped trumpeting
about the amount of material it was recycling and instead put effort,
with other printer manufacturers, into having cartridges designed for
re-use and supporting a re-use infrastructure. Now that really would
show commitment to the environment.The report does find that, in
general, the printer supplies industry is helping to reduce the amount
of cartridges ending up in landfill, but with more than half of the
billions of cartridges bought new every year being thrown away when
empty, that is faint praise.