Printers and ink cartridges are the last bastion of environmental accountability
That’s according to Tony Harrison, managing director of Surrey-based Printercare. In 2021, Printercare created a business model that eliminates waste to landfill and saves customers money. In so doing it became a fully sustainable printer supply business.
Three reasons why
• Last year, UK customers spent £68 million on printers. Most of them will end up in landfill.
• Every year, 65 million printer cartridges are bought in the UK. When empty, 85% of them go to landfill. The polymer they’re made of will take over 1,000 years to decompose.
• Demand for paper drives 14% of all deforestation. That’s 4.1 million hectares of forest destroyed annually.
It doesn’t have to be this way
Printercare take printers destined for landfill and remanufactures them to as new standard. It then supplies them to customers for nothing more than a modest installation fee. This instantly saves the customer the cost of purchasing or leasing the machine.
From then on, the customer simply pays for what they print. And even this is lower than the cost offered by commercially available cartridges. Most cartridge sellers state the number of prints each product will yield, making the cost per print calculable from the price of the item. Printercare customers pay on average 50% of the typical ‘retail’ cost per print.
Furthermore, through its globally certified reforestation programme, Printercare offsets the environmental impact of each page printed and every KW/h consumed and all CO2 emitted by the device.
The machines are also backed up by Printercare’s on-site warranty – included in the per print cost. At most businesses, the IT team is the go-to resource for fault diagnosis. Printercare relieves this burden on in-house techies by providing all support. Again, all parts and consumables are pre-used where possible and recycled under WEEE regulations. A certification and audit trail of every asset is created with guaranteed 0% waste to landfill. This can form a strategic part of a company’s CSR.
Tony Harrison readily admits that his offering drives a horse and cart through the industry’s traditional business model. “Users know that printers are cheap to purchase, yet expensive to run”, he says. “The only way to cut running costs is to buy cheap compatibles. They’re invariably poor quality, single use cartridges, that cannot be recycled.
“Customers often say it’s cheaper to buy a new printer than to repair a broken one. On the other hand, they want to do their bit for climate change. Companies need to get on board with this so we will make it easy for them. – they just pay for what they print. It’s transparent, there’s no long-term contract and, when they no longer need the printer, we’ll collect it after a notice period and where possible, remanufacture it to as new standard ready for another customer. This is, we believe, the first printer supply offering of the circular economy.”
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