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Last year we were asked to research and write about the myths surrounding the use of remanufactured printer cartridges.  You’ve all heard the one about it invalidating your printer warranty?  I thought so … it’s always at the top of the myths league. 

As we suspected, these quality and invalidation claims are nonsense.  We’re not alone in using remanufactured cartridges for our printers and guess what?  They work perfectly, they last just as long, and haven’t damaged our printers in any way so we’re quids in! 

Did you know printer ink is probably one of the most expensive liquids in the world?  Some cartridges contain only a teaspoonful of ink.  This works out to a price of over £2,000 a litre!  No wonder the manufacturers are so keen to sell it.  In copywriting terms, that probably equates to us charging around two grand per paragraph!

In the mid-90s, charities recognised the potential revenue for recycling printer cartridges.  As I was working in the charity sector at the time, I was responsible for setting up a number of recycling schemes. 

Each year in the UK alone, we’re still chucking several million pounds worth of ‘empties’ into landfill sites.  Imagine what your local hospice or other good cause could do with that sort of money. 

Not only is important to recycle your empty cartridges for environmental reasons, its also critical to reduce your costs in the current climate.  I had a conversation this morning with two of the account managers from Phase Office Supplies in Chertsey, the company which commissioned the ‘myths’ piece of work.  They were telling me the price of ‘original’ cartridges has increased recently by up to 30%.  Some of that is down to manufacturer’s price hikes and the rest because of the exchange rate. 

The good news is this has increased the number of companies using remanufactured cartridges.  The Phase account managers reckon they can save their customers 40% or more on the price of their originals.  I believe it … if you’re still not convinced,  drop Sue or Karen a line and ask them for yourself. 

By the way, if your printing is only for internal use or you do a lot of rough copies, make sure your print settings are at draft.  You’ll use a lot less of that very expensive commodity and be eco-friendly too!

As a small business trying hard to be as ‘green’ as possible, we’re committed to the 3 Rs and always looking for ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle.


Apart from helping to reduce our carbon footprint, it also saves us money.  Because we work from home, it’s easier to be green.  We control the heating and lighting levels, rather than an office management company, and make all the buying decisions ourselves.  


One big issue for businesses is how to get rid of old equipment: electrical or otherwise.  If you’re in this situation, have you thought about signing up to your local Freecycle group ( Freecycle is an online community with groups across the country.  Most areas are now served by a local Freecycle community, which is run and moderated by volunteers.  Visit the website to find a group in your area. 


Originally started in the US, Freecycle’s objective is to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill.  Everything on Freecycle must be given away free and you’d be amazed at the stuff you’ll find a home for.  A word of warning though … freecycling children, animals, wives, husbands, etc is not allowed!   


We’ve recently found new homes for a couple of old printers (one was on the blink!), an office chair, and a mountain of used padded envelopes.   Who knows, when you sign up, you might find someone offering the very things you need too. 


Happy Freecycling from WORD-right. 

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