Piezography has discontinued all desktop cartridges in both the USA and Europe in favor of a new patented CIS system. Initiated by the Epson patent suits over cartridges with attached intellichips, I began to source new cartridge designs which would not be infringing. However, I came upon an article by IT Technologies that concerned inkjet’s contribution to the pollution of the Earth. Apparently, more than 450 million ink carts were thrown into USA landfills in 2007. More of course were thrown away in 2008.
Apparently, 10% of the USA consumption of foreign oil comes in the form of plastic used to make the one time carts that are thrown out. Several ounces of oil are apparently needed to make a single cart. Unfortunately, Epson does not design a cartridge which can be easily reused. They are nearly impossible to refill and yet there is no reason why they could not be if the manufacturer wanted them to be. Instead, the user of an OEM cart is forced to throw it away or “recycle” it by sending it back to the manufacturer who incinerates it.
The whole concept behind responsible recycling is not to send it to someone else’s problem area, by avoiding your own. Sending an ink cart in for incineration is claimed to be a way to create energy. The burning of the cart produces “energy” that is used for other purposes. But the whole idea about energy and “greening” is to reuse the energy over and over again, without contributing pollution to earth. Incineration does not accomplish that. Resuse does.
Reuse is the only environmentally responsible form of recycling. It is similar to taking an olive oil can back to the Co-op for refilling with olive oil, or the liquid detergent bottle back for refilling with liquid detergent. The problem with inkjet cartridges is that not only is there a tremendous amount of waste associated with throwing a spent one away (plastic does not biodegrade quickly, residual inks remaining in cart are toxic, the intellichip on the cart is manufactured in one of the most toxic and carcinogenic processes) – but there is also a tremendous amount of packaging and shipping materials associated with how replacement carts are sold.
What we are now offering is a system which does not use cartridges. Rather, we offer a bulk ink system that feeds Piezography inks through tube lines into ordinary inkjet dampers which meter the ink as well as provide final filtering. In order to have the printer continue to print with the absence of an intellichip on each damper – we provide a brick of small chip circuits which are used to reset the printer. It is for all practical purposes a perpetual inking system.
For large format printers we are offering a cart which can be easily refilled with a funnel. The chip needs to be reset on most models. But that is a simple process using a chip resetter.
Using bottled ink allows the photographer to print every drop of ink they buy! We recycle Epson 3800 carts and part of our process involves removing the residual ink out of “empty” 3800 carts. What we find when doing this is that as much as 15% of the 80ml content is still in the cart. That is a tremendous amount of waste. It makes the OEM ink much more expensive than thought. Our alternative to the single 3800 cart is a 3800 CIS which uses dampers. If you cut open our modified 3800 cart you would find a damper inside of it.
These are simple ideas really, but they go a long way to help greening of the Earth – and they are less expensive solutions. So really there is no reason why one can’t use Resuable carts.