Lexmark Encourages Environmental Recycling Policies


Recycling is a big issue in today’s world and companies are making active efforts to encourage this to reduce any unnecessary waste. This may be most commonly seen by recycling paper or plastic, but there is a growing business that is relevant to the office world in relation to ink and toner cartridges.

Many businesses may think nothing of simply throwing away a toner or ink cartridge once it is empty, but did you know that there are facilities that exist to take these cartridges and re-use them? Most of the printing juggernauts such as Epson, Brother and Lexmark have recycling programmes that aim to reduce the amount of printer waste.

Often, these programmes involve buying a cartridge at a reduced price in exchange for a guarantee for the customer to return the cartridge once it is empty. In these cases, a returns label is often included with the cartridge to make sending it back easier. Other ways include more generalised recycling schemes that allow anyone to send back cartridges.

Lexmark Aims to Take This One Step Further

This week Lexmark has outlined a series of measures that it hopes will help to prevent any unnecessary printer cartridge waste in Europe. They asked the European Commission to implement new actions that will support the new Circular Economy Package in the hopes of gaining legislative and regulatory changes that will help to address the issue, and hopefully reduce the amount of printer waste.

Lexmark Proposed Actions to Encourage Recycling

Lexmark actively encourage further cartridge recycling

The Circular Economy Package set a common EU target of recycling up to 65% of municipal waste by 2030 as well as aiming to have 75% of packaging waste recycled by the same year. A binding target of this package is to attempt to reduce landfill waste to a maximum of 10% of all waste by 2030.

It is estimated that around 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes of cartridges end up in landfill each year in Europe. This is a result of both a poor rate of collection from customers, but could also be because people, suppliers and dealers and unaware of their options.

What Are The Proposed Actions?

Some of the proposed actions include:

  • All suppliers providing a free take-back or collection facility for any cartridges placed on the European market
  • Print cartridges sold in Europe should include 50% remanufactured components or be recyclable by 2020
  • Disposal of cartridges to landfill or incineration without energy recovery should be made illegal

The last point is supported by the possibility of providing incentives that could encourage suppliers to collect and reuse their products.

Lexmark views remanufacturing to be a core component to their business and it has aims to reuse 50% ‘by weight’ of their returned cartridges by 2018. They are currently leading the way in terms of cartridge collection as the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Programme currently has a collection rate of 35%, almost twice the industry average.

Supplier Recycling Programmes

We’ve put together a list of supplier programmes to help make dealers aware of the recycling options that are available to them for printer cartridges.

Many of these options are suitable for various sizes of businesses, so why not take a look at easy ways to go green?

Recycling cartridges can reduce waste

Recycling cartridges can reduce waste

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Sarah Jubb

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