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Are schemes all they seem?

By Greg Pitcher

Some electronics firms are pretending to customers that their recycling credentials are better than they really are, according to a key figure in the industry.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) supplies, sales and marketing director Jamie Gryce insisted some companies were making environmental boasts they could not justify.

Gryce told MRW that many other companies in the industry were offering refilling or recycling schemes that did not keep printer cartridges out of landfill sites.

He said: Some big companies in the electronics market are pretending to be more environmentally correct than they are. I would call it greenwashing.

It is important to think about where products end up, not just think that all so-called recycling schemes are good.

The sector was relieved that printer cartridges were left out of the draft Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations, which are out to consultation until next Friday.

But Gryce said HP could ensure cartridges were recycled.

HP can show where its cartridges go we turn toners into car bumpers, for example. You have to ask the others if they can show where theirs go.

Similarly, we do not object to the refilling industry but you can only refill a cartridge so many times. We know for a fact some of these schemes do not have an end-of-life solution.

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