Tuesday , 19 September 2017

Printers and Bic Lighters: Thinking Green

By: Trudy Whitney, Rapid Refill Ink

I have got a major bone to pick with the world famous printer manufacturers about their products and how positively they have been so “ungreen” that it makes me what to throw up. Can you tell I am a little upset? I will not mention their name but their initials are HP! 

Over the holiday season, a major “green” so called windmill-generated retailer put on sale for $19.95, (oh yes, they may say Merry Christmas now), a printer from that ‘manufacturer’ that I am sure many folks in McKinney purchased because it seemed like a terrific deal.

I have had customers who purchased this printer and tell me that the replacement cartridges cost over $60 at the participating wholesale club.  I know they are not making this up because I visited a store to verify the price.   After taking a few of these empty cartridges in, I have decided that I can process and refill them to ‘manufacturer’ specifications and save my valued clients a few dollars.   However, the refill business is a commodity and if you do not have empty cartridges to refill, you cannot refill and offer them to the customers who have purchased these printers.  You nice people know who you are and you have my deepest sympathy.

One customer this week told me he purchased three printers just for the ink cartridges and just planned on throwing the printers away when the ink ran out.  First off, cartridges in new printers are half full.  In the “industry” we refer to them as setup or starter cartridges.  Secondly, you have no idea of the environmental impact that a discarded printer has on landfills in our precious little space for useful trash.

I am appalled that a responsible and so called environmental company would even consider the production of a wasteful and bogus consumable that would cost more than the sum of its parts to simply operate in a school dorm, home office, or a child’s room for homework assignments.  Oops… forgot they have stockholders that are expecting some kind of dividend and profit margins. 

Can you believe you are hearing this tirade from a registered Republican?

All I can offer at my shop is a refill on-demand for these hollowed out pieces of junk that take about 20 drops of ink to top off and/or, if your warranty has expired on these printers, a way to have the culprits electronically recycled.  I shall get in a lot of trouble for suggesting this, but if you kept your documentation on such an insignificant purchase, you can take that printer back.  Do your research either with me or someone else who knows printers and spend more than 20 bucks to get what will be reliable, cost effective, energy effective, and not so dadgum disposable, (alas the Bic reference).

I’m not finished with this topic, but just waiting to see who wants to sue me first.  All I want is these manufacturers to wake up and realize that they cannot continue to hose the public and contribute to the degradation of this planet.

Trudy and Bill Whitney are the owners of Rapid Refill Ink, an independently owed retail franchise that refills and remanufactures inkjet and laser/toner cartridges for office and home printers. In an effort to encourage recycling, empty cartridges are brought to the store that can be reused many times.  Sustainable and recycled products were utilized in the build out of the shop located in McKinney.  For more information call 972.548.9393 or email trudy.whitney@rapidrefillink.net.

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