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ETIRA welcomes EU’s new GPP criteria for imaging equipment tenders

September 14, 2020

ETIRA, the European Toner and Inkjet Remanufacturers Association, has welcomed new criteria introduced by the EU to reduce the environmental footprint of printers and cartridges purchased through public tenders.  

The new Green Procurement Policy (GPP) criteria for imaging equipment applies to printers, copiers, multifunctional devices and scanners, enabling public authorities to endorse sustainable printing by lowering the environmental impact of devices purchased, and favouring the use of remanufactured cartridges.

The new criteria, which also includes requirements for printers’ plastics, chemicals and emissions, have been in development by the EU’s scientific body – the Joint Research Centre (JRC) – since 2018, and the list was approved by the EU Commission in late July 2020.

Public bodies are being invited to use the guide, which is currently voluntary, when they solicit offers for imaging equipment and consumables through tenders.

Javier Martinez, President of ETIRA, said: “The introduction of this new list of criteria within the European Union is an encouraging step forward towards a more sustainable future for the printing and ink and toner cartridge industry.

“We have been lobbying the EU for two years on this policy and participating in the development process while insisting that cartridge reuse is a vital part of the new criteria.

“By including a clear preference for remanufactured cartridges in the 2020 GPP criteria, the EU confirms that in terms of environmental performance, reusing your cartridge is better than buying a new one each time.

“Together with our members, we will now raise awareness of the criteria in EU countries to encourage public authorities to use the GPP criteria and in turn, lower the environmental footprint of printing and cartridge use across EU member states.”

The GPP is made up of two elements – ‘core criteria’ designed to allow for easy application, focusing on the environmental performance of a product, and ‘comprehensive criteria’ for use by authorities that want to lead the way in supporting innovative environmental goals. 

Key takeaways from the new policy are outlined below, with the full criteria available here.

  • Printers must comply with EU regulations on REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) and other regular EU rules and laws.
  • Printers must meet standards for emissions, noise, energy consumption, and not contain hazardous substances beyond limits.
  • They must offer warranties and allow the use of remanufactured cartridges and any firmware update must not hinder the use of reused or remanufactured consumables.
  • Take-back programmes are also requested, and there are criteria for consumables supplied under a managed print contract. Cartridges must comply with page yield standards and must not be designed to limit the ability to reuse or remanufacture them.

The GPP criteria also encourages an initial ‘fleet assessment’ to determine which machines need to be replaced and crucially, which ones can be kept, which will offer increased opportunities to reuse both cartridges and machines.

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