News: UK - consumers waste £440m pa buying branded printer cartridges
Households could typically save £43.65 a year by switching to remanufactured versions
Friday, 19th November 2010
LONDON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Switching from branded inkjet printer cartridges to private label versions could save UK households a combined £440m per year, according to new YouGov research commissioned by Environmental Business Products The survey of 2,000 UK households revealed that the average home gets through 4.85 cartridges a year with half of those questioned admitting they only ever buy branded cartridges from printer manufacturers such as Hewlett Packard, Epson, Lexmark or Canon. Branded cartridges typically cost £30 each, which creates an annual bill of £145.50, exactly the same as a television licence. If the loyal buyers of branded cartridges - approximately 10.1m households - instead bought private label versions from high-street retailers and supermarkets, which are around 30 per cent cheaper, they would save £43.65 per household per annum or a combined £440m. Currently only 18 per cent of households exclusively buy private-label versions. Key findings are that UK households… * ...buy an average of 4.85 cartridges a year which, when multiplied by a typical branded unit cost of £30, equals an annual bill of £145.50 * ...could each save £43.65 a year by switching to private-label products from retailers such as WH Smith * 10 per cent of households buy 10 or more cartridges a year giving a potential saving of £90 each per year * 81 per cent of UK households have an inkjet printer, but… * only 18 per cent buy private-label retailer cartridges that are 25 per cent to 35 per cent cheaper than branded versions * 66 per cent say a cheaper price is likely to encourage them to switch from printer manufacturers cartridges to retailers' versions * 43 per cent would be motivated to switch cartridges because of environmental credentials Patrick Stead, founder and chief executive of Environmental Business Products, which supplies private-label cartridges to many high street retailers across Europe including Office Depot, Viking Direct and WH Smith, said: "When most items in the shopping basket are rising in price, the printer cartridge is one product where there are easy savings to be made, so it is surprising that so many people continue to pay a premium. As well as being cheaper, private-label cartridges labelled as remanufactured - like those made by Environmental Business Products - are also better for the environment. Empty cartridges are collected, thoroughly cleaned and refilled for resale thereby preventing unnecessary waste. While 66 per cent of respondents revealed a cheaper price was more likely to encourage them to switch, 43 per cent would also be motivated to do so by environmental credentials. Patrick Stead commented: "Consumers don't have to choose between price on one hand and the environment on the other as remanufactured cartridges score on both counts. While price provides the main reason to change, the environmental benefits of doing so are a good secondary motivator. "The only thing wrong with an empty cartridge is that it has run out of ink, so throwing millions of them in the bin every year is extremely wasteful. Remanufacturing empty cartridges is far better for the environment than sending them to landfill where they will take up to 1,000 years to degrade. It's better to reuse than recycle in the traditional way which uses an industrial process to break a product down to constituent parts, not all of which can be re-used."