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 user 2011-01-26 at 8:01:49 am Views: 78
  • #24063


    printer hooked up to your computer at home or in the office probably
    gets through quite a few ink cartridges in the course of a year. In the
    past we had little option but to toss these capsules of
    non-biodegradable plastic into the bin. From there they are either
    transported to a landfill where they will remain intact for heaven knows
    how many aeons or, worse, are incinerated, causing air pollution and
    contributing further to global warming.But we may soon be able to avoid
    adding to this world’s woes. A leading manufacturer of printers seems
    set to follow the example of its Japanese parent company and start a
    recycling programme in Thailand some time this year. And it’ll be all
    the better for us if that firm’s two main rivals in the Kingdom were
    motivated to follow suit.

    In Japan, still the acknowledged leader
    of the global electronics industry, printer manufacturers Epson,
    Brother, Canon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard (Japan) and Lexmark joined hands
    in April, 2008 to launch the Ink Cartridge Homecoming Project. Agreed
    after a year and a half of negotiations among the firms, this is a
    collaborative effort which oversees the collection and recycling of ink
    cartridges from home-based printers.To make it as convenient as possible
    for consumers, spent cartridges can be deposited in more than 4,500
    collection boxes at post offices, local government offices, schools and
    other public facilities across Japan.

    According to Akihiko Sakai,
    a member of the board of directors of Seiko Epson Corporation, the
    spent cartridges are sent to a sorting facility at Epson Mizube, an
    affiliate of Seiko Epson, where they are separated according to the
    brand before being returned to the respective manufacturer for
    recycling.And there’s an incentive for doing so. Participating customers
    earn points which they can then either use on Epson’s online shopping
    site or donate to the Nature Conservation Society of Japan or the
    Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement
    International.In April last year Epson started donating 3 yen (1 baht)
    for every one of its cartridges recycled to the United Nations
    Environment Programme. The money will be used to promote biodiversity
    and sell the idea of “the three Rs” (reduce, reuse, recycle).

    17,000 schools throughout Japan are now participating in the programme,
    using the points they earn to purchase essential equipment such as
    sports gear. According to Epson, between 500,000 and 700,000 used
    cartridges are sent in by schools each month.

    Each year, the
    company collects around 11.5 million used inkjet cartridges and send
    them to its recycling affiliate. Located in Nagano prefecture, northwest
    of Tokyo, this plant has a stated policy of favouring the employment of
    physically challenged people. There, spent Epson cartridges are given a
    new life by being transformed into items such as pens, bottles, wheel
    chocks and packaging containers.

    Sakai said Epson plans to expand
    its “homecoming project” to major cities in the Asia-Pacific region
    including Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Taipei,
    Seoul and Sydney.Epson (Thailand), one of the three top printer
    manufacturers in the Kingdom, apparently has plans to launch a
    cartridge-recycling project here later this year, but the firm won’t be
    setting up a sorting facility itself. This task will be delegated to an
    outside contractor. It is understood that we are still a long way from
    the day when companies operating here will be in a position to build
    their own recycling facility.

    We need to radically change our
    attitudes to rubbish disposal if we are ever to become a society that
    efficiently reuses much of what we now regard as worthless. Achieving
    this goal will require members of the general public to cooperate much
    more closely with the business and government sectors. The recycling of
    ink cartridges will hopefully be the first step on the road to reducing
    CO2 emissions and the size of our nation’s environmental footprint.