70 percent of cartridges are landfilled or incinerated

Lexmark has produced an infographic for the CRR that illustrates an open loop toner and inkjet cartridge remanufacturing model that describes how used cartridges can be returned by customers, remanufactured by aftermarket companies and OEMs, and re-sold to end-users. Currently around 70 percent of the waste from used cartridges are landfilled or incinerated.

Lexmark provided statistics for the size of the EU toner and inkjet cartridge market, valued at €4.3 billion ($4.7 million) and €5.4 billion ($5.9 billion), respectively. Remanufactured toner and inkjet cartridge production was valued at €700 million (21 million units) and €600 million (55 million units), respectively, around 16 percent of the total toner cartridge market, and 11 percent of the inkjet cartridge market.

Lexmark's Corporate Cartridge lease-model stimulates job growth

Lexmark's Corporate Cartridge lease model supports the collection of product and is able to support 300 jobs at its remanufacturing site at Zary, in Poland. Lexmark says that cartridges can contain up to 90 percent reused components and materials.

Using the European Toner and Inkjet Remanufacturers Association (ETIRA) 'key facts', the CRR estimates there are 2,000 to 3,000 European remanufacturers, potentially employing 13 to 20 thousand people.

Policy levers to support remanufacturing include:

  • Clarity on the policy for movement of core: Member state to member state, and internationally
  • Green public procurement: require remanufactured/reused content and free take-back option
  • Economic incentives: for remanufactured/reused products e.g. VAT reductions
  • Eco-design measures: improving durability and validating sustainability, potentially through:
    • Standard for remanufactured products, potentially through Eco-label (certification)
    • Requiring publication of expected product life and duration of spare parts availability 

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