Ink refiller takes cudgels for Mother Earth

Ink refiller takes cudgels for Mother Earth
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Monday, April 14, 2008

As the world marks Earth Day on April 22, people from all over the world will come together once more in a display of unity to arrest environmental woes such as global warming and climate change. Business, for their part, will showcase new earth-friendly technologies and best practices as their share in the international effort to save Mother Earth.

One area where wastes can be significantly reduces is on printer cartridges which are used by close to a quarter of the world’s population on a daily basis. According to estimates, some 12 million cartridges are used annually, with only some 3 percent being refilled because of fear of damaging their printers. Scientific data reveals that it takes some 150 years for one cartridge to fully decompose.

“While most businesses and personal users wanted to cut costs on cartridges to contribute to preserving the environment, they have no choice but to stay with original equipment because of the inefficiency of existing refilling systems,” says Babylyn Decena-Newfield, master franchisee of Cartridge World.

Introduced to the Philippines last year, the Australia-based franchise is a one-stop shop of inkjet, laser, fax and photocopier needs, which recycles cartridges using state-of-the-art technology. Cartridge World has more than 1,600 franchisees in some 52 countries and territories to provide a full range of services to meet the printing needs of both consumers and business. It refills cartridges quickly and conveniently, for about half the price of new products and remanufactures most types of toner cartridges. In addition to refilling, it also sells remanufactured products and inkjet cartridges under its own brand to work with printers, with the same quality of a new one.

Newfield said that while ink refilling has been practiced in the country for several years now, it has never reached its full potential because of the crude system being employed, which damages computer printers. In its quarterly master franchisee conference in Singapore last February, the firm set its sight on Japan, China, Pakistan and Thailand, to expand its Asian market presence and contribute to the global recycling movement. Newfield said that locally, Cartridge World has been doing an awareness campaign on the need to refill printer and photocopier cartridges in schools. It has partnered with Taal Lake Yacht Club (TLYC) in the conduct of hobie sailing tournaments to highlight the need to protect the fragile ecosystem of Taal Lake, Batangas. One of the country’s most important inland bodies of water, the lake is endangered with siltation and pollution due to the proliferation of fish cages using chemical feeds.

As part of its corporate citizenship, outlets are looking at the possibility of forming store-based environmental clubs with their clients. She said that under the slogan “Refill, not landfill” they are hopeful businesses and individuals will be encouraged to take part of the global efforts in reducing office-based wastes. “With a more superior technology and branding, we want to take refilling a notch higher, while doing our humble share for Mother Earth,” Newfield said.