New Criteria Encourage Cartridge Reuse in the EU

The Recycler reports that the EU Commission has just unveiled new criteria for the EU Ecolabel encouraging cartridge reuse and will be effective in late 2017. For imaging equipment, only printers accepting remanufactured cartridges and designed to reuse cartridges can apply the EU Ecolabel, while “anti-reutilization devices and practices are not to be present or applied”, said the statement.
As required by the new criteria, OEMs have to specify in their Instruction Manual for the Ecolabel-approved printer that “The cartridges of this equipment are designed for reuse. It is recommended to reuse the cartridge as this is saving resources”.

Moreover, OEMs must provide a return system to help their customers collect used toner and ink cartridges and containers recommended by the OEM for reuse or recycling.

Remanufacturers and cartridge brokers may also need to offer a return system, but must instruct customers how to deal with the residual toner. End-users, however, “remain free to choose any way of disposing of the empty cartridge”.

The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary scheme established in 1992 to encourage businesses to manufacture and market products or services that are more environmentally-friendly. Products and services awarded the EU Ecolabel carry the flower logo, thereby allowing consumers—including public and private purchasers—to identify them easily. Some EU member states have established their own Ecolabel, such as, Germany’s Blue Angel, Nordic countries’ Nordic Swan, Sweden’s TCO and UK’s Green Label.

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