Now If Only Lexmark Made More Of Its Cartridges Refill-Friendly...

Greg Galitzine : Green Blog
Greg Galitzine
| Helping environmentally-conscientious business leaders choose environmentally-friendly solutions.

Now If Only Lexmark Made More Of Its Cartridges Refill-Friendly...

You would never hear a car maker say 'drive less' or a cookware firm recommend eating raw food to save the planet. Nor would one expect a printer manufacturer suggest that its customers print less or don't buy their goods if they don't need to.

Yet that is what Lexmark, in a remarkable display of corporate responsibility has done in via research and advice, reported on TMCnet.

Among its suggestions are:

* Use two-sided printing to save paper

* Use software like the Lexmark Toolbar to print only the Web pages you need

* Share printers in the home or office through wireless networking technology

* Look for the longest available printer warranty to extend its life cycle

* Improve printer efficiency by switching the device off after use

* Print in draft mode to reduce the amount of ink used

* Use Lexmark high-yield cartridges for a higher yield of ink or toner, resulting in fewer cartridges to manufacture and recycle

* Recycle your printed pages and use paper with recycled content

I do have one complaint with Lexmark and that is over its inkjet cartridges. I own an X2650 multifunction printer--a low-cost unit that is adequate for my needs--but the cartridges can't be commercially refilled such as by Island Inket franchisees and others, and refillable alternatives are next to impossible to find.

Yes, Lexmark does have a free cartridge recycling service and one can get replacements with this at a lower price, but that doesn't help me and other users who are running out of ink, can't wait for the lousy mail service, and who want to lower our TCO.  The last time my ink ran out I had to go to the local WalMart ASAP (where I had bought the printer) and pay full price.

Now I'm using an alternative strategy: sharing my wife's HP OfficeJet J6480, which is a more complex machine for what I need to do but which does have refillable cartridges.

That leads to another and serious issue: home inkjet printers have become so cheap that it is often less expensive to replace them--thereby creating more toxic e-waste--than in buying new cartridges.

Come on, Lexmark, you're almost there. Let your customers re-use rather than recycle the cartridges. 


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