Note: All opinions on this blog regarding a product/brand/company are solely my own. I do not receive any compensation from anyone for these views. (Just thought i’d make this clear just in case someone mistakes this for a paid/PR blog post.)
When i first learned about zero waste i made a quick mental survey of all of my stuff and habits and assessed how these generate waste. I realized that, from my food and personal care to my work and studies, my lifestyle does generate a lot of waste. As such, i am constantly looking for alternatives and solutions, as well as changing my habits, in order to reduce or avoid trash.
One thing i can’t entirely remove from my system, tho, is printing. As a graduate student, i tend to do a lot of reading and writing, as well as printing. I know that a lot of the materials i need are available online and that i can actually opt to read papers digitally. But reading from an electronic device (phone, tab, or laptop) for a long time hurts my eyes (and sometimes even gives me vertigo 😔😒), making printouts necessary.
While i’ve conceded to the fact that i can’t do away with printing, i’m bothered by the waste ink cartridges make. Ink cartridges from major brands (like Hewlett-Packard or simply HP) are usually designed for single use. In addition, they come in layers of packaging and millions end up in landfills every year.
I initally thought my only option was to send all my spent cartridges to recycling centers (where the cartridges will most likely be collected for reselling). But then i realized i can also have them refilled at shops like Ink All-You-Can, which provide continuous ink supply system (CISS) technologies. And so a couple of weeks ago, instead of buying new and original HP ink cartridges, i had my spent HP cartridges refilled at Ink All-You-Can. Sadly, i didn’t like the print quality: the color was really bad and it was messy. In addition, the ink stuck up within a week. I thought this was a waste of money. (But this was just my experience with Ink All-You-Can and HP ink cartridges. Some people were luckier.) Hence, i had no other choice but to buy original HP ink cartridges again.
Dissatisfied with having to resort to buying original ink cartridges every time, i wondered if HP happens to have a closed-loop system by which they take back their products and do something about reducing their impact. I googled and found out that HP in fact has a closed-loop recycling system for their ink and toner cartridges! What’s more surprising is that the program has been going on in the Philippines since 2011!
To confirm if HP Philippines does comply to this, i visited the HP store in SM Fairview and inquired if i can drop off my spent cartridges. I was so thrilled when i heard that, yes, i can in fact drop all of my used cartridges off at the store as HP collects them for its closed-loop ink cartridge recycling program.
I’m so happy about this that i’m a new HP fan now. Not only for the reason that we’ve had our HP printer for a long time now (and it’s still working well), but also for the fact that HP is bent on reducing its environmental footprint. I am still hoping, tho, that HP tries better solutions, like making its ink cartridges refill-friendly and having ink refill stations at its stores. After all, reusing ink cartridges conserves a lot more resources and energy than recycling.
HP ink cartridges, i was told at Ink All-You-Can, supposedly can be refilled at least 10 times. So i’m still interested in refills and will give it a another chance next time, probably with a different refilling brand. I want to be able to maximize the life of an ink cartridge before sending it back to HP for recycling. Nevertheless, when things fail again, i’m glad there’s HP’s closed-loop recycling program.