There is not just a price to be footed by your wallet when it comes to inkjet and toner cartridges, but also the environment. At a time when every media outlet is bleating about carbon footprint and the need to recycle in order to create sustainable industries that don’t burn themselves out, the printer industry continues to cause environmental damage because of its inability to change. The razor and blades business model that ultimately tries to force consumers into buying brand-only printer inks also results in massive amounts of waste material over the course of a year.
Each cartridge that ends up in a landfill can take up to 1 entire millennium to decompose. As landfills become ever more difficult to manage, there becomes a significant need to start reusing these often perfectly fine pieces of technology. In the case of Epson, the only thing stopping consumers is a piece of unwanted technology that makes the printer cartridge defunct. The chip found in many Epson laser printers ensures that the cartridge cannot be refilled and ultimately has to be thrown away.
Regardless of whether its HP toner cartridges or Canon printer cartridges, over 45 million end up in UK landfills each year. It is about time that this figure was brought down, especially because so many of these can be reused again and again. Worldwide the number of cartridges that hit landfills is a staggering 350 million per year. On top of this the production of the cartridges themselves results in 3.2kilograms of CO2 for every cartridge, which means that the lack of re-usability of printer cartridges is contributing significantly to green house gases. And its all utterly needless, because most of these should be easy to refill, yet they have been designed in such a way that they aren’t, meaning most people simply throw them away.