I’ve just returned from workshop run by the People’s Design Lab (http://www.thepeoplesdesignlab.org.uk/) where we’ve been considering one of perhaps the most cynically produced paraphernalia of modern day living – the bubblejet printer.
Seemingly ever cheaper (prices as low as £25 are can now be found), this seeming bargain is in fact merely a vessel to sell you vastly overpriced ink. And the manufacturers are committed to squeezing ever more out of the printer users for ever decreasing levels of ink. Whilst trumpeting their cartridge recycling programmes, they make it ever harder to re-use and refill their cartridges, with the longevity plummeting as cartridges contain ever less ink. Installed printer drivers encourage you to buy only manufacturer’s ink, issuing dire warnings if you buy refilled cartridges let alone, horror of horrors, try refilling it yourself. Regardless of the environmental impact of ever growing mountains of cartridge waste.
So perhaps it’s time for consumers to take back their ink. With a few simple hacks available online, you can extend the life of your cartridges massively.
But you’ll have to ignore dire warnings of voided warranties (yours might have run out already) .
A seemingly small example perhaps but illustrative of a system that not only disregards the waste it produces, but actively encourages it. And the only people that can do something about it…are you and I.