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Why remanufacturing is good for the environment

March 8, 2012

Clair O’Hara espouses the numerous benefits of refilling and remanufacturing.

Freelance writer Clair O’Hara has written a synopsis of the numerous benefits and advantages of refilling and remanufacturing, available on isnare. O’Hara discusses many elements including environmental impact, cost per cartridge and the business perspective.

O’Hara begins with a point particular pertinent with the current financial situation: “Third-party refill cartridges are on average 30 percent cheaper than original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cartridges […] recycled cartridges [also] stop the major brands from monopolising the cartridge-selling market.”

The article also note that “big name brands fight back and try to tarnish the reputation of third-party cartridges claiming the print quality is never as good, and there are also rumours that using cheaper cartridges will ruin your printer warranty”. Recently, Brother and an OKI distributor have made statements claiming that remanufactured cartridges produce inferior prints, possess hidden costs and lack the structure to be truly environmental.

O’Hara refutes this, stating: “Independent studies have shown the print quality of refilled and remanufactured cartridges is just as good, if not better, than the original brand cartridges. Many third-party cartridge suppliers are trusted brands who have been in the industry for over a decade so they have the expertise to compete with the quality of brand name cartridges.”

The article also comments on the environmental benefits: in particular, the quantity of oil required to produce a cartridge: “it takes between one [to] two litres of oil to manufacture a laser toner cartridge, and as you probably know, oil is a non-renewable [resource]. Over 60 percent of laser cartridges are only used once and then chucked away, which is why people need to start recycling and refilling their cartridges.”

David Connett, Publisher and Editor of The Recycler, recently wrote on the significance of remanufacturing in the face of a nine-month high in crude oil, “breaking through $125 (€92.83) a barrel” as of 24 February – up 14 percent since the start of the year – and spoke of the importance to everyone: “Every new cartridges, whether it is an OEM or clone, wastes four to five litres of oil.

“Or, put it another way: every cartridge that is remanufactured saves four to five litres of oil. Every 50 cartridges save about a barrel of oil.”

O’Hara adds: “By purchasing cartridge refills, you are saving the planey’s natural resources and stopping your empty cartridges from spending years and years decomposing in landfills. Landfills causes pollution through the emission of greenhouse gases and contamination of chemicals into the soil.

“Plastics, aluminium and oil are three of the planet’s natural resources that are used to go into the marking of cartridges – these are resources that can be saved if we all try consciously to reduce our carbon footprint.”

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