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 user 2007-08-03 at 12:01:00 pm Views: 67
  • #18574

    HP and Kyocera on printer cartridge re-manufacturing and recycling
    an article about printer cartridge recycling and re-use the point was
    made that re-use was environmentally preferable to recycling and a
    reference was made to HP over its preference of recycling over re-use.
    Scott Canonico, HP’s Manager of Public Policy, got in touch and sent
    this message:”We read with interest your article reporting on
    InfoTrends’ recently published study, 2007 Supplies Recycling: U.S. and
    Europe. In our view, the study does not support re-manufacturer claims
    of offering THE environmental choice – and we believe, your
    presentation of the findings doesn’t give OEMs credit for the
    significant progress made to date.”While re-manufacturers point to the
    reduce-reuse-recycle waste hierarchy and claim an environmental
    advantage based on reusing cartridges, their environmental record
    speaks otherwise. We note the following “key highlights” reported by
    InfoTrends (quoted from the report):

    US re-manufacturers and brokers almost uniformly do not recycle waste
    components, as opposed to larger European remanufacturers that recycle
    much more frequently (smaller European remanufacturers are similar to
    their US counterparts with respect to the recycling of waste).

    Most re-manufacturers do not want their own cartridges back. Instead,
    they want OEM-branded cartridges that were not previously
    re-manufactured, also known in the industry as virgin cores or hulks.
    Re-manufacturers orient their programs to collect OEM cartridges. Some
    limit their collections to OEM brands and charge fees for the return of
    previously re-manufactured cartridges.

    Transparent and public reporting of environmental performance was not
    available from any of the re-manufacturers that [InfoTrends] surveyed.

    contrast, HP’s recycling program is environmentally sound. Since 1991,
    when HP launched Planet Partners, its return and recycling program, we
    have processed hundreds of millions of cartridges to recover materials
    for use in new products. This return and recycling program is offered
    free of charge to customers in 45 countries around the world,
    representing almost 90 percent market coverage. In major markets,
    returning a cartridge is as simple as affixing a postage-paid label or
    placing a cartridge in a postage-paid mailer.”We also note the digital
    printing industry’s overall performance, and believe strongly that when
    put into context it represents a resounding environmental success
    story. For example, InfoTrends reports their estimate that 54 percent
    of laser cartridges (all brands in US and Western Europe) are collected
    after first use. That is truly remarkable for market-driven, voluntary
    efforts, without government intervention. In fact, the State of
    California recently reported in its “Biannual Report of Beverage
    Container Sales, Returns, Redemption, and Recycling Rates” that the
    State’s beverage container recycling rate for “All Materials” (which
    includes deposit bottles and cans, and other containers for which
    curbside recycling is available) was 57 percent for the period July
    through December 2006.”We’re proud of our environmental performance and
    are always working to further increase participation in our recycling
    programs.”What HP is saying here is that, although re-manufacturers do
    re-use printer cartridges their own recycling record for cartridges
    that are not re-used is abyssmal. HP, although it does not re-use
    cartridges, does recover components for re-use and its recycling record
    is impressive.

    Yes, it is.
    However, it is environmentally
    better to re-use printer cartridges than to recycle their components.
    It may well be cheaper for consumers to buy re-manufactured cartridges
    (re-used ones) too.

    What’s in laser toner cartridges?
    laser printer toner cartridges, there is the point that they generally
    contain much more than a cassette full of toner. There will also be a
    print drum, a cleaning mechanism and other mechanical components.
    During the life of a laser printer the combined drum/toner unit will
    need to be replaced many, many times. It makes more sense, one would
    think, for the drum to be designed for a longer life so that it doesn’t
    need replacing.This is what Kyocera does with its Ecosys laser printers
    and copiers. Kyocera makes the point that these use a durable print
    drum with a super-hard material coating to provide up to 350,000
    printed pages. This contrasts sharply with conventional laser printers,
    hich require users to buy a whole new print cartridge every time the
    toner runs out.Kyocera doesn’t re-use toner cassettes though. Empty
    ones get returned to Kyocera which recycles the plastic material to
    make fresh toner cassettes.Kyocera has taken issue with recent HP
    advertising placed in channel publications Microscope and Computer
    Reseller News (CRN), that asserted customers need only replace toner
    during the life of the new HP Colour LaserJet CP3505, thereby reducing
    the number of consumables and saving money.The advert’s copy text
    stated ‘The new HP color LaserJet CP3505 series not only offers
    excellent value for money, but won’t end up costing your customers a
    fortune in consumables. Why? Because unlike other brands on the market,
    your customer only needs to replace the print cartridge, and nothing
    else. No drum, maintenance, fuser, cleaning or transfer kits.’Kyocera
    states, ‘This is untrue. The HP CP3505 uses legacy print cartridges
    from the HP Colour LaserJet 3600 and 3800 printer series. These
    cartridges certainly contain toner but, crucially, they also contain a
    print drum, cleaning parts and numerous other mechanical pieces.’

    is absolutely clear that when HP’s advertising says the Colour LaserJet
    CP3505 “only requires replacement toner throughout its life. And
    nothing else” it is untrue. The drums are simply hidden within the
    print cartridges and the user pays accordingly. The packaging for HP
    print cartridges states that “HP Print Cartridges are responsible for
    70 percent of the printer’s imaging system”; a statement which is not
    compatible with claims that the cartridges contain only toner.”HP’s
    claim that the Colour LaserJet CP3505 “won’t cost you the earth” is
    also misleading. Using data from analyst company Context, the colour
    cost per page of the HP Colour LaserJet CP3505 is 7.50p, 61 percent
    higher than Kyocera’s equivalent product, the FS-C5025N. The HP’s
    monochrome cost per page is 72 percent higher than Kyocera’s.’Ian
    Joslin, Kyocera UK’s general manager, said: “For HP to claim that this
    technology offers customers a cost saving is ludicrous. HP’s marketing
    approach is typical of the ‘smoke and mirrors’ tactics that have been
    employed by our competitors for many years. It obscures the short-life,
    high-waste nature of their technology and the consequent costs that
    will be passed on to users.”“The fact is that the HP Colour LaserJet
    CP3505 is a throwaway product, designed to be disposed of at the end of
    its short life. To dress this up in claims of economy is disingenuous
    and amounts to false advertising.”Peter Maude, a director of analyst
    company Charisco, added: “I believe Hewlett-Packard is guilty of an
    error of judgement with the misleading wording of its recent
    advertising. True – a Colour LaserJet CP3505 user needs replace only
    print cartridges under normal low-volume usage. But, there is no
    question of the device not having print drums – they are integrated, as
    is the cost.”

    A complaint has been lodged with the Advertising
    Standards Agency by Kyocera regarding this HP advert. HP was unable to
    respond in time for this feature.If printer manufacturers stopped
    treating drums as consumables, equivalent to toner cassettes, then the
    amount of printer-related material to be recycled would be reduced.