Winning the War That Has to be Won

Winning the War that has to be Won

Winning the War that has to be Won

—ETIRA’s president Javier Martinez is calling for mandatory rulings on cartridges and printers so consumers know how to choose what’s best for the environment. He answers my questions about the challenges for the environment and how remanufacturing has a role.

Winning the War That Has to be WonWhere are you based, and what has been your background in remanufacturing?

I trained as an environmental engineer and worked in a marine business from 1988 to 2002. Since that time, I have spent 20 years in this industry, firstly with Consuprint, then Embatex Iberia a subsidiary of the Turbon Group sister company caring for Spain and Portugal, and then Italy and France.

I have been a member of the advisory committee of the European Commission for Imaging and Printing. I have been involved in establishing a new management model to turn waste into usable resources and to promote the necessary shift towards a circular economy. I am currently based in Viladecans which is just 10km from Barcelona Port and airport.

Is this why you recently accepted the role of president of the European association at this time?

I have been a long-term member of the ETRIA board. The opportunity for change came along with some management adjustments. It’s true you might see my face as the new president of ETIRA, but the opportunity to pull together a new hard-working board with members who are full of ideas and enthusiasm is the core reason. These members deserve credit for the excellence they deliver.

Why is there an awakening by the public, media, and government to the role of the circular economy in Europe?
It is very simple. You too would be horrified when you are presented with the data on waste. It is horrendous. I invite you and the readers to discover it for yourselves and be informed.

Winning the War That Has to be Won

So, it is clear what Europe needs: less waste, more jobs and true product value. We are on the precipice of the cliff right now and I support the Bill Gates vision that climate change may hit us much stronger than what the pandemic has done. It’s true.

What are the challenges you face in advancing the case for remanufactured supplies? The OEMs? Governments? Consumers?

Clearly, the determination by the EU Commission is at the heart of the matter. Wherever you go or whomever you speak to, the message is always the same: “Voluntary schemes do not provide enough uptake.”

We need a clear determination. For some reason, it is still missing. I often refer to Mario Monti whose determination changed the Automobile Industry for the benefit of the consumer. Where is our ‘Monti’ for printers and cartridges? There is no shortage of data and evidence of abuse. How else can consumers, without regulations in place know how to choose between a better performing reman product and a worse performing single-use new-build cartridge?

A growing reuse target must be mandatory, but we also need to prolong the usable life cycle for the printers as well. The data of the level of inefficiencies I have is incredible. There is a lot of work to be done.

What key initiatives would you like to see achieved in 2021 that will strengthen the case for remanufacturing?

Let’s get the regulations in place first. This is the priority. However, there are others that may also help. The Green Public Procurement (GPP) in Italy, has set a mandatory reuse threshold. This was published at the end of 2020 and if understood and implemented correctly, will give top priority to reuse. The ‘Third Country Operator’ (TCO) which manages non-European operators, is about to launch a certification process for printers. These needs support. Also, I am thinking about a project called the “European Cities Cartridge Reuse challenge.” This means the measuring and setting of more ambitious targets. Le’s see who the winner can be.  ■


* Javier Martinez can be contacted by email: <jma@turbon.de> or javiermz@etira.org

** This article, “Winning the War that has to be Won” appears on page 19 of RT ImagingWorld magazine which can be downloaded free.


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