Lexmark Urges to Curb Ink Cartridges Waste

Imaging giant, Lexmark, is calling for tougher laws on the recycling of printer cartridges in Europe.

According to tonernews.com, Lexmark has asked the European Union (EU) to prohibit the incineration, or dumping of ink cartridges into landfill sites, without efforts being made beforehand to recycle.

It is estimated that 300 million printer ink cartridges end up being thrown away every year in the U.S. alone. Despite being part of the problem itself by manufacturing the cartridges, Lexmark is trying to be more environmentally friendly.

“With the European Commission having now published its new proposals for promoting the circular economy, the timing is perfect to call on the printer cartridge industry in Europe to support measures to curb waste by encouraging reuse and recycling,” said Udo Schlauch (pictured), Lexmark’s EMEA general manager. The circular economy is the name given to the process of reusing, recycling, and remanufacturing materials for further use.

“We now call on our industry to promote sound practice and good policy to alleviate the issues around printer cartridge waste and the poor rates of collection and reuse,” said Schlauch.

Previously, Lexmark has made efforts to strengthen its green credentials. The company’s “Lexmark Cartridge Collection Program” is a recycling initiative for cartridges, and some of Lexmark’s own cartridges use up to 90% recycled materials in their construction. “But this is not enough,” said Lexmark. In its submission to the European Commission’s “Preparatory Consultation on the Circular Economy”, Lexmark has demanded legislative and regulatory changes to curb the waste with strong legal efforts. Other proposals by Lexmark include making all cartridge suppliers to provide a free take-back facility for cartridges sold on the European market. Besides, it plans all printer cartridges sold in Europe to include at least 50% remanufactured components by 2020.

The EU has already set up plans to curb waste, but has not yet implemented legal rules for cartridge vendors. According to Lexmark, Remanufacturing is essential for its business, but by 2018, Lexmark aims to reuse 50% by weight of returned cartridges. Last week, people are familiar with the matter told Reuters that Lexmark is considering the possibility of breaking up its hardware and software division. Lexmark has reportedly also held discussions with potential buyers of the entire business, but any offers have not yet been in line with its own valuation expectations.


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Please contact Violien Wu, Head of News & Editorial, via violien.wu@iRecyclingTimes.com

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