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Printer Cartridge Remanufacture...

 Cartridge Remanufacturing

 Re-using Empty Cartridges: 


Cartridge remanufacturing is an industrial process whereby spent inkjet or toner cartridges are disassembled and cleaned, refilled, engineered to become "as new", and then marketed as own-brand cartridges, competing on the basis of price and quality with new cartridges.

The process of remanufacturing empty cartridges is highly complex because of the increased technology embedded in cartridges today. Cartridge remanufacturing is constant innovation and product development, involving state-of-the-art technology. Permanent investment in know-how, equipment and software is required to keep pace with the market.

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. 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:
-LCA study Students University of Kalmar, Sweden, 2003.

-LCA study Xanfeon consultants, UK, December 2008.
-LCA study SAPI/University of Modena, Italy, 2008
-Report University of Linkoping, Sweden,

All studies clearly conclude that regarding toner cartridges, remanufacturing reduces the environmental impact by 60% on average as compared to producing an new cartridge

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, aluminium, timber) by not having to produce a new toner of inkjet cartridge, but remanufacturing it for its (multiple) re-use.

In 2009/2010, the EU will look at Eco-design requirements of Imaging Equipment. 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 honour 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.

Key facts about the Cartridge Remanufacturing Market

 Printer Cartridge Specialist


  • There are over 10,000 remanufacturers worldwide, employing over 65,000 people

  • 20-30%% of all cartridges sold worldwide are now remanufactured.

European remanufacturing

  • There are over 1,400 remanufacturers in Europe. 60% of remanufacturers process both inkjet and laser cartridges; the remainder specialise in either one or the other.
  • The remanufacturing market is worth approximately 1,2 billion euro to Europe's economy.
  • Across Europe, there are an increasing number of broking companies which provide the third party supply link between the OEMs, cartridge producers and the remanufacturers.

The European toner cartridge market

  • Of the 44 million toner cartridges sold in Europe each year, almost 12 million are remanufactured. This represents a market share of approximately 27%.
  • Growth in production of OEM cartridges in 2001 was around 10%. This figure is significant as it reflects that new printer sales are stagnant, but that the sale of cartridges is going up. Individuals are using more toner cartridge, which suggests that the remanufactured brand is growing much more significantly than OEMs.

The European inkjet cartridge market

  • Of the 300 million inkjet cartridges sold in West-Europe in 2003, around 45 million were remanufactured. This represents a market share of 15%, predicted to grow to 40% in 2008.
  • This growth rate is based on developments in the USA, where remanufactured market share is already around 40%.
  • Smart Cartridge is a printer cartridge specialist company with retail franchise outlets and a growing distribution business throughout Europe & overseas

  • Smart Cartridge stores and kiosks specialise in the professional onsite refilling and remanufacturing of used ink and laser printer, copier and fax cartridges

  • Established in Edinburgh in 2001, 12 years on and recognised as an international brand

  • One of the fastest growing and successful retail franchisors within our sector

  • 70 plus successful retail & kiosk franchisees

  • 5 different countries (UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Dominican Republic, and Angola)

  • Safe and cost saving for both the end user an corporate clients. Save money and help save the environment.

  • Over 12 years experience in this industry...