Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How Remanufactured Cartridges Can Save Your Business Money

The war has begun between OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and remanufacturers. This war is due to the fact that many consumers are beginning to recognise the benefits of using remanufactured and compatible products. This creates problems for printer manufacturers because historically these consumables have been their cash cows. I’m sure that most consumers are aware that printer manufacturers do not make their money through the sale of printers but rather through the sales of the consumables associated with these printers. And now their cash cow is under threat!!!

The reason that most consumers are beginning to switch to remanufactured or compatible cartridges is due to the fact that most consumers are now starting to see how much they can save by using these types of cartridges as opposed to OEM products. This is becoming more pertinent as we now also operate in a society where businesses no longer pay on time and many smaller companies are facing huge cash flow problems and are looking for every opportunity available to them to cut costs.

The price saving of using remanufactured cartridges can be as much as 50% in some cases. This is a huge saving especially for companies that fax and copy a lot.

Whilst many OEM’s maintain that remanufactured cartridges do not offer the same quality as originals, there have been some very interesting developments in the business environment. Many OEM’s have begun to develop their own remanufactured product. By doing so they are sending mixed messages to their customers because on the one hand they are telling their customers not to use remanufactured cartridges and on the other they are trying to sell remanufactured cartridges to their customers.

Studies in the US have shown that companies who switch over to compatibles or remanufactured cartridges can make substantial savings to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year which puts them in a better position to win the battle of the bottom line. And which is more, the use of these cartridges will not diminish the quality of their prints in the least.

The reason that remanufactured cartridges are able to produce such high quality prints, is due to changes that have occurred in the remanufacturing process. In the beginning cartridges were merely refilled by having a hole drilled in them to replace the toner. Now days the remanufacturing process requires that cartridges be completely disassembled to analyse all the components for wear and tear. Any parts that show substantial wear and tear are replaced, meaning that these cartridges can produce prints with the same if not better quality than their original counterparts.

Tony Hess from Kohler Corp, a multi-billion dollar firm and an innovator and leader in many sectors has been quoted as saying “Naturally we all know that most OEM printer manufacturers make the majority of their profit via the consumables, so we are open to saving costs here.” Hess goes on to say, “We compared one compatible cartridge against the OEM product. We looked at the quality of the toner and checked for any residue left on the rolls afterwards. The quality as well as the quantity, was the same.” Kohler Corp now only uses compatible cartridges in their network printers, and as Hess says “We get the same level of quality as an OEM product at a drastically reduced price. It’s almost a 50% saving, which is why it’s such a benefit to the company. It’s a no brainer.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Go Green!

I was having a discussion with my boss the other day and said to me that one of the biggest problems facing the Printer Cartridge industry is that most people are not educated about the impact of their choices when it comes to empty printer cartridges. He said that the vast majority of employees believe that they need to reuse cartridges to solve the environmental issues associated with improper disposal of cartridges. The problem with this being that a reused cartridge will not have the same yield as a new cartridge nor will it have the same print quality, and eventually these cartridges will be disposed of.

What most consumers do not understand is that used printer cartridges can be utilized to create ‘Remanufactured Cartridges’ which will have a yield as good as a new cartridge and will provide the user with exceptional print quality.

It is good to note that at least people are starting to become aware of the impact that the improper disposal of printer cartridges can have on the environment.

Just to reiterate the impact that they can have on the environment, here are just a few ways in which the improper disposal of printer cartridges can harm the environment:

Incorrect handling can lead to toner powder being inhaled into the human body and this has the potential to lead to health problems. Toner powder is finer than cigarette smoke.
Once in landfills, the ink and toner residuals can leak and pollute the soil and groundwater.

I was reading an interesting article the other day, in which the author said that we as South Africans were spoilt due to the fact that we have a lot of wide open spaces that we can utilize for waste disposal. As I was reading this it struck me, that this was kind of a catch 22 situation. The fact that other countries such as America and many in Europe have less space available for waste disposal, they need to be more conscious about what they throw away and what they recycle.

It is perhaps time for us as South Africans to be more aware of how our waste can harm the environment. And in closing, I know they say that the best place to make a change is at home, but why not do it at your business, and ensure that your business is Green!!!

For more information about Printer Cartridge Recycling, please feel free to contact The Green Cartridge Company on 011 450 2110 or alternatively e mail us at

Friday, November 2, 2007

Printing and The Environment

Now I must be honest with you from the get go. I have never been too concerned with how my actions would effect the environment. Let me rephrase that, what I am trying to say is that, like most people, I have gone through life so far without making a conscious effort to protect the environment.

All of that changed recently, and funnily enough it came about when I changed jobs – surprising when you find out that I am in Marketing. I recently began working for a friend at a company called The Green Cartridge Company. While trying to find a way to market his product, I began questioning him about his product to try and find out what we could use to differentiate his product from that of his competitors.

He began to explain to me that the company had been called The Green Cartridge Company because the aim was to protect the environment, while at the same time saving his customers money. (Now please don’t misinterpret this article, I am not trying to hard sell products for The Green Cartridge Company, but rather I am trying to make people aware of the impact that printer cartridges can have on the environment if not disposed of correctly).

Upon hearing this from my friend I immediately set to work, and began researching the impact that printer cartridges could have on the environment – to put it lightly I was shocked at the results.

Here are just some of the results that I found. (Please note that these are the results of a study conducted in America and Canada. Keep in mind that these two countries are well reputed for their recycling procedures and awareness).

There are more than one million printer cartridges used in Canada each year, and only 10% of these are recycled.
As of 1999, America was only recycling 5% of their printer cartridges.
These means that roughly 90% of the printer cartridges used in these countries are ending up in landfills.

Now comes the interesting part:

The plastic used in these cartridges takes over 1000 years to decompose.
It takes 3.4 liters of oil to manufacture a new printer cartridge.
In 12 months, cartridge recycling could save 4.3 million liters of oil in a country of 22 million people.
And finally, if the cartridges thrown away in America, in one year, were to be stacked end to end, they would cover a distance of 38,000km. This is enough to circle the earth.


Now I understand that with the many similar crises that the world faces this may seem like a seemingly small problem. But just think about it for a moment. Nearly every person in the world uses printer cartridges, be it a young child printing the picture that they have just drawn on the computer, to the large corporate that prints thousands of pages every day. And what seems so unfortunate about this problem is that it has a simple fix, and one that is not time consuming for the user.

I was reading an article the other day and in it, it said “The earth’s natural resources are being consumed at a rate that reinforces the idea that we are living for today and the future generations will be paying for the consequences”. Is this really the legacy that we want to leave behind for future generations?

So I would like to stress that many organizations, like The Green Cartridge Company offer a printer cartridge recycling service. The Green Cartridge Company offers a service whereby we will collect our client’s empty cartridges and use them to remanufacture new ones, or we will buy back your old cartridges. These remanufactured cartridges are then resold and are not nearly as expensive as a new cartridge. So by simply recycling your old cartridges you are creating two ways in which your company can save money, and more importantly you will be doing your bit to help the environment.

For more information contact The Green Cartridge Company on (011) 450 2110
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