October 17, 2019
ETIRA welcomes Brother Industries’ efforts on eco-design and environment, by allowing easier cartridge reuse
ETIRA, the European Toner and Inkjet Remanufacturers Association welcomes, recognizes and congratulates Brother Industries on its latest strategy and action in favour of a cleaner Europe, and endorsing cartridge remanufacturing as a top priority.
Brother has fitted chips on recent cartridge models, and although the independent cartridge remanufacturing industry initially feared these chips would hinder and obstruct remanufacturing of the cartridge (like chips from most OEMs do!), this is not the case with these particular Brother chips. When these cartridges run empty, their chips can be easily reused time and time again. And while this chip protects Brother’s IP -rights, it does not obstruct remanufacturing of the cartridge by independent cartridge remanufacturers.
In ETIRA’s view, this Brother strategy represents a key milestone in the fight against single-use cartridges (“SUCK”s as they are known in the market), and addresses the needs of our society which calls for product reuse and meets the European Directive on Eco-Design.
It also represents a major step forward into applying the “4R”- hierarchy, which places preparation for reuse and remanufacturing above other options like mere recycling of the materials, incineration or landfill.
ETIRA calls on all other printer manufacturers and the European authorities to follow the example set by Brother. Chips can enhance cartridge functionality but must never hinder cartridge reuse.
We also ask for EU-wide mandatory and increasing minimum reuse thresholds for cartridges. This is what some EU member states, that are truly aware of the damage that single-use plastic cartridges represent to the European environment, are already calling for.
Cartridges are WEEE, electronic waste, and as such their preparation for reuse is the top priority, as WEEE account for 70% of toxicity on waste.
For this, there should be an obligation on printer manufacturers to share data with 3rd parties under a license agreement, similar to the arrangements existing in the car industry where manufacturers are obliged to supply independent 3rd party repairers all information they require to do maintenance and repair of all vehicles, including software, parts catalogues, manuals, etc.