Key facts about the cartridge remanufacturing market

General – We estimate that there are approx. 10,000 remanufacturers worldwide, employing over 65,000 people. We also estimate that 20% of all cartridges sold worldwide are remanufactured. European remanufacturing ETIRA estimates that there are approx. 2,000- 3,000 professional cartridge remanufacturers in Europe. Most process both inkjet and laser cartridges, but many specialise in either one or the other.  Across Europe, there are many companies which provide the third party empty cartridge supply link between cartridge users and the remanufacturers.

Worldwide toner cartridge shipments increased  up to 2013. Since then, the market has seen small growth and even some contraction, as end-users simply print less. Out of the approx. 120 million toner cartridges sold in Europe each year, approx. 20-30 million units are not shipped by the original printer manufacturer, but are in fact remanufactured OEM cartridges and newbuilt non-OEM products. This represents a market share of approximately 15%-20% (toner) or 5%-15% (inkjet) for this aftermarket. Since 2008/2009, the market has seen a major influx of low quality, single use, patent-infringing newbuilt cartridges (SUC’s) from South East Asia, mainly China. Often offered at prices below their production cost, these clones are sold to ignorant users, who are then exposed to dangerous chemicals in plastics, patent lawsuits,  poor quality prints, and no environment-friendly way to dispose of the cartridge after 1st use.

The European toner cartridge market The EU toner cartridgemarket  is estimated at approx 15 bn euro. The non-OEM toner cartridge market is worth approximately 1,7-2 billion euro in Europe. In units: we estimate that approx. 120 million toners were sold in Europe in 2020.  ETIRA estimates that non-OEM toners represent 20%-25% of that total, so 24-30 million units. 70% of that volume are remanufactured OEM cartridges, while approx. 30% are non-OEM newbuilts.

The European inkjet cartridge market The global market in inkjets is approx. 900 million units annually. Of the 300-350 million inkjet cartridges sold in the EMEA region, around 5%-15% were remanufactured OEM cartridges..

During the last years, printing overall has decreased, which affects the sale of printer cartridges worldwide.

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