September 14, 2023
The 251 page preparatory study for the upcoming ecodesign legislation has been published by the European Union’s Joint Research Centre and covers the EU market for imaging equipment and consumables.
The JRC expects a continued decrease in printed pages due to digitalisation and environmental awareness. In 2022, there were substantial inkjet (12 million) and laser (5 million) device sales and laser device sales are projected to remain steady, while inkjet device sales are anticipated to decline by 4.2% annually and the JRC estimates that there are approximately 95 million devices in operation.
In 2022, consumable sales for laser and inkjet devices were approximately 659 million (559 million ink cartridges and 100 million toner cartridges).
Critical aspects of the report include increasing cartridge capacity utilisation through improved minimum page yield can reduce climate change impact by 18% to 19% (depending on cartridge type) and lower consumer expenditure by 10% to 15%, depending on device type.
The end of all-in-one cartridges? The report suggests that shifting from integrated/all-in-one to single-part cartridge configurations can lead to substantial environmental benefits, with potential reductions in climate change impact ranging from 55% to 61% (depending on cartridge type).
Enhancing the remanufacturability of cartridges can result in significant environmental benefits, with potential reductions in climate change impact ranging from 58% to 60% (varies by cartridge type) and cost per page reductions of up to 64%.
For toner and ink cartridges with chips, the report suggests that cartridges should be designed to allow registered professional remanufacturers to reset the chip for essential functions, either by reusing the original chip or providing a replacement. This functionality should be accessible to qualified remanufacturers at a reasonable cost within five working days.
Key functionality includes cartridge acceptance, calibration, print head maintenance, data collection, installation messages without inflammatory language, functioning ink or toner level gauges and page count indicators if supplied with the original cartridge.
Toner and ink cartridges should be designed to allow easy and non-permanently damaging access for chip replacement or resetting using commonly available tools.
The report also suggests that laser and inkjet device manufacturers must ensure that the printers’ primary functions can be used without requiring an internet connection.
Also covered is the toner and ink cartridge design that should allow easy opening for remanufacturing or refilling without causing irreversible damage, promoting cartridge reusability.
Cartridges should not feature trademark logos or badges in fragile or critical areas to avoid trademark issues and minimise damage during logo or badge removal.
Stakeholders can comment on the draft report at the 11 October stakeholder consultation meeting and in writing afterwards.
You can download and read the draft JRC report here.
After the consultation has concluded the findings will go into the ecodesign legislation and start the process through the Parliament and the rest of the EU channels to becoming law sometime next year.
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