ETIRA celebrates two decades in business 

March 3, 2023

This year marks the 20th anniversary of ETIRA, signalling a major milestone in the association’s journey to create a greener future for the ink toner cartridge industry.

Founded on 11 February 2003 in Barcelona, ETIRA’s creation marked the arrival of the cartridge remanufacturing industry’s first official European trade association.

Its launch signalled the sector’s commitment to raising the profile of reuse and remanufacturing, carrying out important political lobbying work within the EU and providing a platform for organisations within the industry to connect and communicate with one another.

And today, ETIRA’s membership includes some of Europe’s biggest players in the sector, with more than 40 companies joining the association from all over the UK and the continent and together, continuing to influence and shape the European toner and inkjet remanufacturing industry, as well as the wider circular economy debate and the green agenda.

Reflecting on the significant milestone, Vincent van Dijk, secretary general of ETIRA, said: “ETIRA exists to lead the fight to represent our members’ interest and to stand for cartridges as a flagship example of circularity, and key to a greener printing industry.

“The association’s launch created a face for Europe’s remanufacturing industry and also, gave the sector a voice to assert itself at the table of politicians and decision makers across the EU.”

Shaping policy

The world has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, with industry having to navigate a whole host of unprecedented challenges – from economic uncertainty to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

However, despite these hurdles, ETIRA’s focus on driving sustainability within the printing industry has held strong, continuing with its work to lobby the EU and assert remanufactured cartridges as the best choice.

Vincent van Dijk explains; “We are constantly lobbying and reaching out to EU policy makers to raise awareness of the benefits of cartridge reuse and, as an association, we’ve achieved many successes in this area.

“We successfully lobbied for favourable wording in the EU ecodesign criteria for imaging equipment, the EU Ecolabel for imaging equipment, the EU criteria for green public procurement (GPP), the US public procurement scheme EPEAT, the Nordic Ecolabel (formerly “Nordic Swan”), the EU February 2018 study on cartridge reuse, and the 2020 reform of the Voluntary Agreement Imaging Equipment. And now, as requested by us for a long time, the EU has finally decided to regulate the industry and make reuse the norm.

“But, we’re not ones to rest on our laurels. There is still much work to be done and we continue in our efforts, along with our members, to drive change across the industry, rising against the pressure of OEMs and pushing for regulatory tools to be put in place – not voluntary.”

Looking ahead

Since its creation, ETIRA has risen to the challenge of difficult trading conditions and dwindling sales volumes within the remanufacturing industry, to promote the vital benefits of reuse and drive change within policy.

With as much as 70 per cent of cartridges thrown away in Europe after first use, the association’s purpose is more vital than ever, as Vincent van Dijk summarises: “Remanufacturing cartridges for re-use can reduce their carbon footprint by up to 45 to 60  per cent.

“As our industry takes steps to reduce its environmental impact, every cartridge that is remanufactured is one fewer going directly to landfill.

“Our 20-year milestone is a point of reflection for us and our members. It’s a chance to review the vital work we’ve done to date but, more importantly, it’s an opportunity for us to promote the important job that’s still to be done to secure a greener future for the inkjet and toner industry across Europe.”

To view the full digital edition of the March issue of The Recycler please click here

Reproduction of The Recycler feature is with permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.

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