Is it even possible that we could see something completely different in the imaging after market after 30 years? Well, yes. Pelikan, the iconic brand that is 182 years old this year, launches a line of bio based cartridges.
What is a Bio based cartridge? It is a toner cartridge made from reusable bio plastics with a bio based toner made of 48% organic materials, certified by the TUV Bio Based standard. Lowering C02 footprint, with all cartridge contents recoverable for reuse, but, if thrown away the cartridge plastics will start to decompose at 90-180 days at 60°F and 90% humidity, with no sacrifice to print performance and is 25% cheaper for the end user than a new original OEM cartridge.
In 1990 when the remanufacturing industry got underway, it was easy to see the eco-friendly advantages to remanufacturing laser and ink cartridges for resale and reuse. Our vision then was to remanufacture the cartridge for reuse again and again and again, multiple times in fact. Remanufactures prided themselves on how many times the cartridge was remanufactured. 7 times, 10 times; I even heard 24 times once! Now that does make a difference!
Long life components were designed and made to enhance the eco-friendly program, so that the drum would go multiple cycles and the mag roller also. Those were the days when remanufacturers sold directly to the end user. That’s how the cartridge came back time and time again. The eco – friendly ‘remanufacture for reuse’ story made sense back then, in the decade of the nineties.
As the remanufacturing industry evolved so did the business model. Bigger order volumes could be had when selling to resellers who were also selling the OEM original cartridge. As the industry business model shifted to resellers, so did the focus on multiple cartridge remanufacturing. Now remanufacturers are only interested in remanufacturing a virgin cartridge and not a non-virgin cartridge. Remanufactures lost the customer relationship to collect used cartridges for remanufacturing and resale.
Non-virgin empty cartridges need more time and more components to remanufacture which adds up to more cost. More cost but same selling price means less margin and that is why the focus shifted to virgin-empty cartridge remanufacturing only.
So, are virgin-empty cartridges remanufactured for reuse still eco-friendly? It means at best remanufacturers can claim that they delay the cartridge from landfill or local waste management control for just one more cycle and that’s NOT exactly going to save the planet, is it?!
Remanufacturing was at one time the best answer we had to be environmentally friendly with the consumables the market has to offer. Today however, the eco-friendly argument of cartridge remanufacturing is old, worn out and not listened to by end users, who know that the cartridge is a virgin-empty with a new drum and new components. The sale is made on price and the customer comes back for more if it‘s performance was good.
Environmentally friendly customers will make sure that once used this cartridge will be put into the collection programs, where, non-virgin cartridges are more likely to be destroyed or end up in landfill.
10 years ago, an effort spearheaded by Art Diamond, to make a ‘Bio Toner’ product was launched.
Early iterations produced varied results but only 24% of biomaterial content was achieved before print performance degraded. Print-Rite however, did not give up and continued the research and development after others gave up!
Today I am happy to announce that following 10 years of research and development by Print-Rite (who also own the Pelikan Printer Consumables brand) not only have we now reached a 48% bio ratio with the toner but we have also developed a bio based plastic for the cartridge that has 57% organic material content.
So, what does the world first Bio based cartridge really mean to an eco-friendly end user looking for a reduced carbon footprint, and who wants to help and reduce greenhouse gas, C02 levels?
• Bio based certification is a TUV standard requiring more than 20% bio-based content to the product. Pelikan are at 48% Bio based toner and 57% bio based plastics.
• HIPS (High Intensity Polystyrene) plastic is 100% fossil fuel derived and is currently favoured by OEMS. It is not biodegradable, or bio based. When incinerated it gives off toxic gases such as Nitrite and Sulphide.
• Pelikan Bio Based cartridge plastic is made of PLA and ABS thermoplastics. We use organic materials like coffee grind, soya, sugars, starch, plant and wood. As a thermoplastic, it has the characteristic that at a low temperature the cartridge plastic can be returned to a thermoplastic amorphous liquid which can be reused. When under high temperature no toxic gasses are given off.
• The bio plastic tensile strength is 75Mpa higher than the OEM HIPS plastic which is measured at 23Mpa. This means strong, robust and capable of doing its job in a low temperature application; making it perfect for laser toner cartridge manufacturing.
• Print output performance is frankly outstanding, for example uniform prints tests measure 1.54in the ‘Solid Area Density’ test which delivering an incredibly low score of 0.5 for background.
• Page yield is equal to the OEM.
Now here is the sizzle; the Pelikan Bio Based cartridge is and must be a Patent Safe Compatible (PSC) cartridge and fully compliant to EU standards and US standard. Our Pelikan Bio Based cartridge must be certified by TUV and other regional certification authorities, which of course it is.
Once used, the cartridge can be remanufactured using standard components just like the OEM used cartridge. Like all Print-Rite Patent Safe Cartridges, it is not designed as a Single Use Cartridge (SUC). If the cartridge ends up in landfill, the bio plastic will start to decompose at 90 – 180 days at 60°F and 90% humidity. The OEM HIPS cartridge will stay in landfill without any degradation for hundreds of years.
If the cartridge finds its way into local waste collection systems, the metals can be reclaimed as normal, but the thermoplastics can also be reclaimed at low temperatures without any toxic gas emission and reused as a thermo plastic. Bio based marks are used to identify the materials and as explained, the cartridges will also be green to help them stand out.
So, Pelikan Bio Based cartridges literally tick all the boxes for customers who want to support “Green” or CSR policies to lower C02 Levels and who care about our environment enough to choose the best environmentally friendly product available.
Bio Based cartridges are the BEST environmentally-friendly products available today. Less dependency on fossil fuels means lower C02 and less greenhouse gas emissions. These innovative Pelikan Bio Based cartridges comply to all EU and US standards and are compliant to local regulations. These products are patent-safe and supported by 3,000 patents and 39 years of cartridge remanufacturing experience from Print-Rite.
Print-Rite are one of the largest manufacturers of printer cartridges and consumables and are recognised and respected as innovators within this industry.
Pelikan Bio Based products takes the eco-friendly “reman” to a whole new level. As many experts in the industry predict – this is THE game changer.