Paul Nash, a senior plastics engineer in HP’s Inkjet Supplies Operations organization, has played a central role in developing the HP “closed loop” ink cartridge recycling process. The first of its kind, the process combines recycled content from HP ink cartridges with recycled plastic bottle materials to create new Original HP ink cartridges.
Collaborating with HP design engineers and an external supplier, Paul helped determine the type and amount of recycled materials needed to produce ink cartridges that meet HP’s demanding standards for quality and reliability. HP’s recycling program reduces the amount of virgin materials used, the energy required to process new materials, and the amount of waste sent to landfills. The program has also reduced costs for HP because it is less expensive to use recycled materials than virgin materials.
As of September, 2010, HP has produced one billion Original HP ink cartridges containing post-consumer recycled plastic.1 Eight hundred million of those cartridges were manufactured with recycled plastic from the HP “closed loop” process. Through these and other efforts, HP has pledged to use a total of 100 million pounds, cumulatively from 2007, of recycled plastic in HP printing products.
”Being a part of this program was incredibly satisfying. It was very challenging because it was so large in scale and required engineering contributions from HP employees and suppliers worldwide. It’s a great success story,” says Paul.
Paul’s passion isn’t limited to his work at HP. He also cofounded EcNow Tech, a company that develops and markets recycled, reusable, and compostable products. In 2009, EcNow Tech won the Corvallis, Oregon, Entrepreneur of the Year award.
- 1 Many of HP's 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.