Lexmark: ‘All suppliers should provide a free take-back facility for print cartridges’

Lexmark has outlined measures to help curb printer cartridge waste in Europe after estimating that up to 50,000 tonnes of cartridges end up in landfill each year.

The firm has issued a call-to-action to the printer cartridge industry in Europe, urging it to support a range of measures to curb waste and encourage reuse and recycling.

These measures support the European Commission’s recently adopted Circular Economy Package, a plan of action, which includes measures to stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy.

Lexmark estimates that 30,000-50,000 tonnes of printer cartridges end up in landfill each year as a result of the industry’s poor rate of collection from customers. The firm has made significant strides in curbing waste and encourages reuse and recycling of its cartridges through the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Program (LCCP).

The LCCP collection rate is 35 per cent, nearly twice the industry average, and none of the cartridges returned to Lexmark are sent to landfill or for incineration.

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In its submission to the European Commission’s Preparatory Consultation on the Circular Economy, Lexmark has called for legislative and regulatory changes to address the issue.

The firm wants EU action to require:
All suppliers to provide a free take-back facility for cartridges they place on the European market
All printer cartridges sold in Europe by 2020 to include 50% remanufactured components or be recyclable
Compulsory environmental criteria to be introduced into public procurement requirements as they relate to printer cartridges
Remanufacturing and recycling of products to be promoted by user labelling intended to guarantee quality-operating performance
Disposal of printer cartridges to landfill or incineration without energy recovery to be made illegal by providing incentives for suppliers to collect and reuse their products

“The concept of the circular economy is something that Lexmark has supported since it was founded in 1991 and the remanufacturing of printer cartridges has been at the core of the company’s business strategy since Day 1,” said Udo Schlauch, general manager, EMEA Annuities & Channel, Lexmark.

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“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.

“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,” he concluded.

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