CLICK HERE to BAN the import of generic and counterfeit non-recyclable printer cartridges that end up in our landfills.
Stop the unnecessary plastic waste generated by single-use non-recyclable printer cartridges imported from overseas and help bring back, what once was a thriving U.S. Recycling and Re-manufacturing industry for used printer cartridges.
Over 375,000,000 used printer cartridges contaminated with ink and toner residue are thrown in the trash each year, which contributes to over 150 million pounds of plastic waste in our landfills.
It can take 1,000 years for a printer cartridge to decompose as it can leak toxic chemicals into our waste stream.
Just about every household, business, school, and government agency have printers that uses cartridges for their daily printing. It’s estimated the annual sales for printer cartridges will reach $38.4 billion by 2026, so printing isn’t going away. Unfortunately, the success of the global printer cartridge market has had a negative impact on the environment.
In the 1980s, the U.S Re-manufacturing Industry for used ink and toner cartridges was established. The industry evolved as a solution to the mass amount of waste used plastic cartridges generated by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of printers such as HP, Canon, Epson, Brother, Xerox, and other name brands.
Consumer demand for a lower cost alternative ink and toner cartridge became so high that within a few short years the Re-manufacturing industry of printer cartridges grew into a global industry, generating billions in revenue. This circular economy provided a cost-effective, Eco-Friendly product for consumers while diverting millions of used printer cartridges from ending up in landfills.
At one point, demand for used printer cartridges was so competitive it created a monetary incentive to recycle them. Collecting and selling used printer cartridges became a big revenue stream for the Electronic Waste Recycling Industry.
The Electronic Waste Recycling industry and the Cartridge Remanufacturing industry relied on each other to manage used printer cartridges waste.
In early 2000, overseas manufacturers seized the opportunity to enter the U.S market and began to import millions of generic single-use non-recyclable and counterfeit printer cartridges as an alternative to Recycled printer cartridges with no regard for the Environment.
While the OEM for printers provide a free recycling mail-in service for their used cartridges, NO recycling service is provided by overseas manufacturers importing their printer cartridges.
More importantly, a used OEM ink or toner cartridge CAN be re-manufactured several times for reuse which is good for the environment. Whereas generic ink and toner cartridges imported from overseas CAN’T be re-manufactured which results in adding more plastic waste to our landfills.
In 2005, Amazon opened its door to overseas manufacturers selling direct-to-consumers with no regard to fair trade or the environment.
With very little oversight, exploitation of trade laws, and anti-competitive tactics, millions of generic non-recyclable and counterfeit cartridges flooded the market from overseas, undercutting the U.S Printer Cartridge Re-manufactures.
Thousands of U.S businesses that were created to divert used printer cartridges from our waste stream went out of business. What once was a thriving circular economy for recycling and re-manufacturing used printer cartridges is now on the verge of extinction.
Due to the importation of non-recyclable printer cartridges, most used printer cartridges have no value and are considered trash! Handling and warehousing the volume of plastic waste has created a major economic challenge for Electronic Waste Recyclers. Most recycling facilities will no longer accept printer cartridges which have created a major environmental issue.
In 2017, under Operation National Sword the Chinese government banned the import of used plastic printer cartridges headed for that nation's recycling processors. The ban is part of China's efforts to clean its environment and improve its quality of life.
The question is why our government has allowed overseas manufacturers to use our nation as a landfill for their non-recyclable printer cartridges while at the same time permitting them to destroy the U.S. cartridge re-manufacturing industry?
As one of the last printer cartridge remanufacturers in the U.S., we have experienced the challenges that many U.S. companies are facing with competing products from overseas. Within the last 22 years, we have sadly witnessed countless U.S companies in the printer cartridges recycling and re-manufacturing industry go out of business because of unfair trade practices.
Lawmakers need to hear from all of us that their inaction is hurting the environment and destroying American Jobs!
Please sign this petition to stop the import of single-use non-recyclable printer cartridges ending up in our landfills and Support the U.S. Cartridge Recycling and Remanufacturing Industry! This is the solution to used cartridge waste.
CLICK HERE to BAN the import of generic and counterfeit non-recyclable printer cartridges that end up in our landfills.
Continue reading the more in-depth story behind our ban
In the 1980s, the Re-manufacturing Industry for used ink and toner cartridges was established in the United States of America. The industry evolved as a solution to the mass amount of waste used plastic cartridges created by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of printers such as HP, Canon, Epson, Brother, Xerox, and other name brands.
Consumer demand for a lower cost alternative ink and toner cartridges became so high that within a few short years the Re-manufacturing Industry of printer cartridges grew into a global industry, generating billions in revenue. This circular economy provided a cost-effective, Eco-Friendly product for consumers while diverting millions of used printer cartridges from ending up in landfills.
In 1989, Recharger Magazine was founded in California as the leading publication resource for the printer cartridge re-manufacturing industry and hosted the Inaugural World Expo event in Las Vegas. By 2006 it became the largest print consumable trade show in the world.
At its peak, the U.S. Re-manufacturing Industry for inks and toners was made up of more than 10,000 companies. Thousands of U.S re-manufacturers, resellers, distributors, suppliers, and equipment manufacturers were established to divert used printer cartridges from our waste stream were all contributing to a booming U.S. circular economy.
Below is an image of World Expo 2006 in Las Vegas hosted by Recharger Magazine.
In early 2000, overseas manufacturers seized the opportunity to dominate the U.S market by importing millions of generic non-recyclable and counterfeit printer cartridges, as an alternative to U.S re-manufactured cartridges with no regard to the environment.
Within a few short years, overseas manufacturers took over and monopolized the U.S market by acquiring key U.S suppliers and component companies.
The main industry publication, Recharger Magazine and its World Expo was also overtaken by a new foreign trade industry publication and trade expo.
Electronic Waste & Recycling Industry
Electronic waste or E-waste is when an electronic product is discarded after the end of its useful life. Electronic waste or E-waste recyclers collect the discarded electronic devices and sell off the product destined for refurbishment, reuse, resale or its secondary raw materials such as cooper, steel, plastic, or similar, for salvage recycling through material recovery.
For decades, the electronic waste recycling industry has been collecting printers and their consumable cartridges for recycling. E-waste recyclers relied on the U.S. printer cartridge remanufacturing industry as an outlet to purchase used printer cartridges.
Spent printer cartridges at one time commanded upwards of $35 dollars per unit because the competition to obtain cartridges was fierce amongst re-manufacturers.
When imported generic single-use non-recyclable and counterfeit cartridges began to flood into the U.S. market, they immediately began to disrupt the U.S. circular economy for printer cartridges. These cartridges devalue used OEM cartridges to where it became cost prohibitive to re-manufacture.
As U.S. re-manufacturers were driven out of business by imported generic non-recyclable cartridges, E-waste recyclers across the nation found themselves stuck with material that had little to no value. Today, many E-waste recyclers have ceased to take used cartridges as it has become too costly to handle and store, leaving few options for recycling, diverting more plastic waste to landfills.
Here is some of what we hear from electronic waste companies:
Overseas Sellers Exploit Amazon Platform to Destroy U.S. Printer Cartridge Re-manufacturing Industry
In 2005, Amazon opened its door to overseas manufacturers selling direct-to-consumers with no regard to fair trade practices or the environment.
There are currently countless of counterfeit printer cartridges listed on Amazon. Overseas sellers have unfairly gamed and violated Amazon’s algorithm for years by deploying numerous unethical, deceitful, and unlawful tactics to capture first page rankings and sales at the expense of rule abiding U.S cartridge remanufacturing companies.
Amazon’s ranking algorithm evaluates a broad set of criteria to determine which Sellers appears on the first page of a search, which is a lucrative place to be. Being on the first page, a Seller will be seen by more people, and have a greater chance to gain a sale over a competitor.
Amazon also allows sellers the ability to create multiple brand listings under one company. Just about every foreign seller has taken advantage of that policy knowing that if one of their stores gets taken down, they are able to continue selling under another store brand. By having multiple stores on Amazon, a single company can dominate the first page with different brand listings which makes it hard for their competitors to be found.Also, to achieve high page rankings that lead to sales, overseas sellers on Amazon are known to employ the following illegal and unethical tactics:
- Commissioning fake product reviews
- Compensating customers for product reviews
- Change or remove negative product reviews
- Manipulating sales rank by accepting fake orders that they pay for
- Use of “ghost” accounts to manufacture the false impression of interest in or sales of products to inflate product ratings
- Manipulate the “helpful” voting for reviews of competitors products
- Reusing old product listings for new product offerings in order to falsely capitalize on past sales and review history
The most egregious and unlawful tactic overseas ink and toner sellers do on Amazon is flood the platform with non-recyclable counterfeit cartridges. These are newly produced generic cartridges falsely advertised and labeled as a recycled product by calling them “Remanufactured.”
These illegal and anti-competitive practices are designed to deceive consumers, undercut U.S. ink and toner re-manufacturers, and avoid detection by OEMs for intellectual property infringement. According to the Imaging Supplies Coalition, the annual market for counterfeit printer cartridges adds up to roughly $3.5 billion in market value.
Here is an example of an Amazon counterfeit listing falsely labeled as a remanufactured ink cartridge.
The image below shows a side-by-side comparison of an genuine OEM cartridge and a counterfeit Canon ink cartridge labeled as “remanufactured.” When you look at the two cartridges you will see “Canon” engraved in the genuine OEM product on the left but not the counterfeit on the right.
These new manufactured counterfeit cartridges labeled as a "remanufactured" and sold as recycled products are flooding the market through sales on Amazon.
Here is a top view of the same cartridges and again there is an imprint of Canon’s name on the OEM cartridge on the left and no imprint on the counterfeit cartridge on the right. Also, you can see subtle differences in the plastic used to make the cartridges
If these cartridges were truly remanufactured the cartridge on the right would have Canon’s brand imprinted on it and the plastic would look identical.
Millions of imported generic and counterfeit cartridges sold on Amazon will eventually end up in our landfill because they cannot be remanufactured.
According to Energy Alliance, manufacturing just one single toner cartridge emits to around 4.8kg CO2 Greenhouse Gases per cartridge. In addition, more than two ounces of oil is used to produce every inkjet cartridge. Manufacturing generic single-use cartridges to replace remanufactured cartridges only adds more plastic waste and greenhouse gasses to our environment.
It is very difficult to have Amazon remove listings of counterfeit cartridges that are falsely labeled as OEMs, unless there are widespread complaints from consumers, or the OEM claims intellectual property infringement.
The only way to insure overseas generic single-use and counterfeit cartridges are not sold on online selling platforms is to stop the sale and importation of them. This will reduce unnecessary plastic waste, greenhouse gas, and revive a thriving U.S. circular economy established to recycle and reduce printer cartridge waste.
CLICK HERE to BAN the import of generic and counterfeit non-recyclable printer cartridges that end up in our landfills.*
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Help bring back the U.S. Remanufacturing Industry which is good for the environment and the circular economy.
Only by working together can we make a difference!
- Tell the FTC to stop the sale of counterfeit cartridges on Amazon that are destroying U.S companies https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/
- Email U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce Chairperson Frank Pallone, Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org and U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transpiration Chairperson Maria Cantwell email@example.com to ban the import of generic and counterfeit non-recyclable printer cartridges
- Complain to Amazon to take down counterfeit cartridges Phone 1-888-280-4331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support U.S Re-manufacturing!