This represents a 50% increase in the number of HP ink cartridges manufactured with recycled content in the last year, according to the firm.

HP’s closed loop cartridge recycling process uses recycled plastic from returned HP cartridges as well as plastic from other sources, including recycled plastic bottles and plastic clothes hangers to create new original HP ink cartridges.

HP stated that its objective to increase the use of recycled plastic in its ink cartridges is part of its sustainability programme called ‘Living Progress’. It claims that this strategy is “helping customers reduce their environmental impact and reduce the overall environmental impact of product use”.

HP environmental manager for the UK & Ireland Bruno Zago told said: “We are showing leadership. We have been very innovative in terms of taking post-consumer waste out of landfill and it shows that we are upcycling the plastic.”

However, whether this move helps the company’s top line remains to be seen. Zago said: “There has not been any direct work out there to find out if what we have done has improved sales.”

He also admitted that it was “hard to say how it benefits the customer” because it had not done any studies “on what our consumers think of our recycled-content messaging, specifically on the cartridges”.

Zago said: “There are a lot of studies out there that show various things that the consumer is not willing to pay more for green. They expect brands like HP to be sustainable and to be doing the right thing. For us getting our cartridges back and closing the loop is the right thing to do. Hopefully the end-users and consumers out there appreciate what we are doing.”

HP Inkjet and Printing Solutions senior vice president Stephen Nigro added: “Our customers want high-quality printed content for both business and personal documents–without breaking their budget or compromising their commitment to environmental responsibility.

“From cartridges with recycled plastic to energy-efficient printing products and waste-reducing packaging design, we are offering customers solutions that make it easy for them to enjoy cost and resource savings in their everyday lives.”

Reusing engineered materials, HP says it has contributed to the circular economy by:
·Keeping 566 million returned HP cartridges out of landfills since 1991.
·Using 2.5 billion post-consumer plastic bottles to manufacture new HP ink cartridges since 2005.
·Incorporating 1.1 million pounds of recycled apparel hangers into the most recent expansion of the recycling process.
·Manufacturing more than 2 billion Original HP ink and toner cartridges made with recycled content.
·Delivering recycled plastic from HP’s closed loop recycling process with a 33% lower carbon footprint and 54% lower fossil fuel consumption in its production than new plastic.

HP offers customers in 50 countries and territories free cartridge recycling through the HP Planet Partners program.

According to Zago, HP started its ink cartridge recycling initiative in 1995. Customers can return used cartridges through HP’s retail and reseller partners by dropping cartridges off at one of 9,000 drop-off locations around the world.

In April, HP announced that it would use waste straw in some of its packaging to reduce carbon emissions. It has struck a deal with YFY Jupiter, a global packaging firm who is working with farms in China to utilise leftover straw from cereal crop harvests

Liz Gyekye

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