Friday, February 8, 2008

HP makes (somewhat) greener ink jet cartridges

HP announced that it would use recycled plastics to make its ink jet cartridges. Using a new technology called “closed loop plastic recycling,” the company will use plastics from sources of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics, such as old ink cartridges and water bottles. The process, which involves shredding, is reported to use over 70% recycled materials in making the new cartridges.

HP already has a worldwide effort to take back used ink cartridges for its customers. The new process closes the circle, according to HP sources. It also says that over 200 million cartridges have been manufactured already using this process. The company is working on doing the same thing with laser cartridges.

This is a welcome step, a chance to reduce toxic industrial waste sent to landfills by a little. But HP could do even better: they could come up with an authorized way of refilling cartridges so they don’t have to be constantly remanufactured. They could also supply much larger ink reservoirs so that the cartridges don’t need to be constantly replaced.

These steps are unlikely; HP and other ink jet manufacturers have no desire to kill the cash cow that allows companies to charge $6,000 a gallon or more for ink, doled out a thimbleful at a time. The recycling is a laudable baby step in terms of green technology, but HP could do more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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