HP “closed loop” ink cartridge recycling
The HP “closed loop” ink cartridge recycling process is the first of its kind. Recycled plastic from HP ink cartridges is combined with recycled plastic bottle materials to create new Original HP ink cartridges.
According to a life cycle assessment, the recycled plastic used in our Original HP ink cartridges has a carbon footprint up to 22% smaller than if virgin plastic had been used—even when accounting for the impact associated with collecting, transporting, and processing the empty cartridges and plastic bottles used to make the recycled PET.1
HP has produced 1 billion Original HP ink cartridges containing post-consumer recycled plastic2, 3—800 million of those cartridges were manufactured with recycled plastic from the HP “closed loop” process. As a result, we’ve helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 3000 cars off the road for a year, or curbing gasoline consumption by 1.7 million gallons.4
Using recycled materials saves energy, avoids waste, and keeps plastic out of landfills. Although achieving consistent quality and reliability can be difficult with recycled plastics, HP's engineers, chemists, and partners developed recycled materials that met HP's high performance standards.
Since HP began the pilot process in 2005, through the end of the 2009 fiscal year, HP used more than 20,000 tonnes (44 million pounds) of recycled plastic resin5 in 760 million ink print cartridges.6 Our goal is to use a cumulative total of 100 million pounds of recycled plastic in our printing products, including ink cartridges, between 2007 and 2011.
- 1 For cartridges produced between 2005 and 2010. Based on a 2010 life cycle assessment (LCA) performed by Four Elements Consulting and commissioned by HP. The study compared the environmental impact of using polyethylene terephthalate plastic (PET) with the environmental impact of using recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) plastic to manufacture new Original HP cartridges. For details, see www.hp.com/go/RecycledPlasticsLCAs.
- 2 Many Original HP ink cartridges with recycled content include at least 50% recycled plastic by weight. Exact percentage of recycled plastic varies by model and over time, based on the availability of material.
- 3 As of September 2010.
- 4 Calculated with the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. For details, see www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html.
- 5 At least 50% recycled plastic by weight, minimum 95% post-consumer.
- 6 This is a large increase over the cumulative total HP announced in early 2008 (200 million ink print cartridges). HP has been working with suppliers to accurately account for the recycled content we use. In 2008, HP reconciled recycled plastic usage from one of our large resin suppliers; that usage is now included in HP's totals.