Re-using empty cartridges: Why ?

Today, most consumers simply throw away their empty printer cartridges after use. These empties then wind up in landfill or are incinerated, polluting the environment and wasting costly base materials.

The Better Way: Remanufactured cartridges
Since a few years, there is a better way: Simply collect your empty cartridges, and give them to an established remanufacturer, member of ETIRA. He will disassemble, clean, refill and engineer the empty cartridge to become new, and then bring it back to market under his own-brand. And always at a price well below the cost of a new cartridge!

Do yourself and the environment a favour
Buying remanufactured cartridges is doing yourself a favour. They are of the same or better quality as the new product, but you can get them for much less! But you not only save money; you are also helping the environment ! Re-using spent cartridges saves energy, and avoids having to produce new ones, thus saving the earths precious and costly natural resources like aluminium (bauxite), oil and timber.

Remanufactured cartridges are more environment-friendly than new ones. Remanufactured cartridges have a 45-60% lower CO2 emission than new cartridges. This commonly known fact is substantiated by many Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) studies:

Evaluation of circularity of components for life cycle design: A toner bottle case study 2022 :

EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), Revision of EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for Imaging Equipment TECHNICAL REPORT 2.0 Draft criteria, page 123, June 2019

Fraunhofer study: Reuse of toner cartridges saves emissions (=Wiederverwendung von Tonerkartuschen spart Emissionen (only in German, 31 January 2019)

=LCA study Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester, 2014, Click here for the study.
-LCA study students University of Kalmar, Sweden, 2003. Click here for the study.
-LCA study Xanfeon consultants, UK, December 2008. Click here for the study.
-LCA study SAPI/University of Modena, Italy, 2008. Click here for the study.
-Report University of Linkoping, Sweden, 2006 Click here (see table on page 451) clearly concludes that regarding toner cartridges, remanufacturing reduces the environmental impact by 60% on average as compared to producing an new cartridge

All studies are available from ETIRA upon request.

The LCA’s mentioned above all show that the largest potential for reducing a printer’s environmental footprint lies not in reducing its energy use or paper consumption, but in saving the natural resources (oil, aluminum, timber) by not having to produce a new toner of inkjet cartridge, but remanufacturing it for its (multiple) re-use.

ETIRA calls on the EU to set strict rules for cartridge design which will allow cartridges to be re-used. But cartridge manufacturers use many tricks to make it impossible for cartridges to be re-used: by fitting clever chips that switch off the cartridge after 1st use, by using glue instead of screws to fit the cartridge together, or by refusing to honor the warranty of the printer simply because non-OEM cartridges were used.
All these tools are unnecessary (and some are even illegal!), and their only objective is to prevent remanufacturers from giving cartridges a second life. The result is more waste, and more CO2 emissions. Want more details ? Contact ETIRA on

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