Consumer Reports Finds Alarming Ink Waste in Printers

A 2013 Consumer Reports (CR) study reveals that, a significant percentage of ink is wasted on printer maintenance protocols when a printer is used sporadically. CR studied intermittent printer usage, which more closely emulates actual printer use. About 30 pages were printed in batches of two or three pages, once or twice a day, for three weeks. Weekends were skipped during the testing.

CR concluded, “In intermittent use, plenty of models delivered half or less of their ink to the page, and a few managed no more than 20 to 30 percent.” It notes that only Brother printers were “consistently frugal when ink was used intermittently” during the testing. Other manufacturer results varied widely depending on the printer model.

According to CR, IJ printer ink is among the most expensive liquids. The cheapest ink costs $13 an ounce, more than fine champagne and, at $75 an ounce, pricier than most designer perfumes.

Tom McLaughlin, Marketing Director at Cartridge World North America, said, “This study highlights the fact that businesses and consumers hoping to save on printing costs are in a frustrating and challenging position. The best advice for stretching your dollar is to seek efficient printer models and to make sure they can use refillable and eco-friendly ink cartridges. The home and office printing pros at Cartridge World can help local shoppers make a printer purchase that won’t break their budgets over time.”

Mark Pinner, Cartridge World’s Chief Technical Officer, said, “Printer manufacturers make their money from ink and toner cartridge sales. Part of their business model is to force consumers to replace cartridges on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the high cost of new ink cartridges hurts both the checkbook and the environment.”

Pinner also said that, over the past 10 years, ink levels in some inkjet cartridges have decreased by as much as 90 percent. The systematic reduction in ink volume, along with the introduction of ‘starter’ cartridges packaged with new printers, is simply aimed at making the end user purchase a replacement cartridge as soon as possible.

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