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Let the cartridge war begin
Among programmed obsolescence and cartridge at excessive price that you must necessarily change even when it is not 100% empty: more and more voices are being raised to cry out for scandal and to try to change OEM policy (Original Equipment Manufacturer) : that are CANON, HP, Brother and EPSON to name a few.
The latest example?
The French association HOP (Halte à l'Obsolescence Programmée : Stop to programmed obsolescence) which did not hesitate to lodge a complaint in September 2017 against the highly probable programmed obsolescence of the products manufactured by the giant EPSON. Investigations are under way: to be continued!
But the association does not stop there and denounces, among other things, the increasing price of cartridges, which sometimes cost as much as the printer itself.
Did you know ?
Between 60 and 80% of empty toners go directly to the landfill
350 million cartridges go to the landfill every year
The cartridge sales market is worth $28.5 billion, with 1.1 billion cartridges sold.
If we put the cartridges end to end, it would be like doing 129 times the Chinese Wall.
With the price of printers constantly dropping, their end of life programmed, the price of cartridges soaring while their quantity of ink has significantly decreased: OEMs push for (over)consumption.
Make no mistake about that: the primary purpose of these large groups is not to sell printers (which generate only few profits) but to sell a maximum of consumables (i.e. ink cartridges).
To do this, nothing beats making low-cost printers to, in the meantime, explode the price of cartridges!
This is the very principle of the loss leader and the low price, well known by marketers.
But that's not all!
Other sites also highlight other "schemes" on the part of major manufacturers:
- Cartridges are less and less filled (their capacity has sometimes been divided by 5 in just a few years!)
- Electronic chips embedded in cartridges are programmed to have a shorter life (based on a limited number of prints and not on the true amount of ink remaining)
- The packaging is opaque black plastic, making the actual ink level undetectable by the user
- "copied" cartridges (if they are recognized by the printer) can be detected and thus emptied faster by the printer
- Some manufacturers impose strict use of their cartridges (otherwise the printer will not work, even with so-called compatible cartridges)
A whole finely studied strategy is put in place so that the final consumer spends money as often as possible (some principles sometimes bordering on illegality)
To face the OEM monopoly, many players have been competing for several years already to offer consumers other options.
Vidéo pour illustrer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHX6tHdQGiQ
If original cartridges (in other words those manufactured by the manufacturer of your printer) guarantee quality and safety, their price remains the highest on the market.
Faced with them, other types of cartridges have emerged in an attempt to compete with them:
- New compatible cartridges: these are copies of the original cartridges, not manufactured by the manufacturer of your printer. Their price is much lower than original cartridges but it is possible that they have less good quality and especially that they are not "recognized" by your printer and thus not usable. They also have a significant environmental impact in that they cannot be remanufactured and there is clearly no satisfactory reprocessing solution so far.
- Remanufactured cartridges: these are old original cartridges that have been collected and refurbished. By buying this type of cartridges, you give them a second life and thus reduce their impact on the environment (less waste, less energy spent than if you had to throw them away and manufactured new ones). LMI, for example, is specialized in this field and guarantees the quality, reliability and durability of its cartridges.
- Refilled cartridges: these are original cartridges that have reached the end of their life and that you can refill. These refill kits on the market are an excellent alternative that combines economy (you can save up to 80% compared to purchasing original cartridges) and respect for the environment (waste reduction). There are several types of filling (which differ depending on the toner you use): for example Uni kit.
According to the annual report published by Cart'touch (which is a group of 13 cartridge manufacturers working for a better management of used cartridges): of the nearly 60 million cartridges sold in France in 2016, only 5 million were collected.
Although this result is not decreasing compared to 2015, there is still a long way to go in order to reduce our impact on the environment as much as possible.
Some manufacturers such as EPSON, CANON and Brother (who are among the market leaders) have already understood this and are increasingly offering to collect their used cartridges so that they can be reconditioned or recycled, thanks in particular to specific collection boxes made available to companies or collection points accessible to individuals throughout the territory.
Consumers' ecological and economic awareness push OEMs to improve their waste recycling system, and to communicate their desire to reduce their environmental impact
(to restore their image and justify the exorbitant price of their cartridges).
But seeing the low rate of cartridges collected/recycled, we are able to wonder if this communication around recycling is sufficient...
What happens to the collected cartridges
Of the 5 million cartridges collected in 2016, 87% were reconditioned then reused or recycled, compared to only 74% in 2014! This is a good progression in 2 years.
The remaining cartridges (when they are neither reusable nor recyclable) are incinerated and are used to supply electrical energy.
The future of the planet in your hands...
Black, blue, green rubbish bins, landfill...selective sorting no longer holds any secrets for you, so why stop on such a good path by not recycling your cartridges? For ease or lack of information no doubt...
Some sites, such as needempty, may still have found the right way to motivate users by offering to buy back empty cartridges.
Warning: please read well the general conditions of these sites to make sure to understand their operation and thus avoid any disappointment (you have to give a minimum of 100 empty virgin ink cartridges or 50 toner cartridges