When consumer behavior dictates life cycle performance beyond the use phase: case study of inkjet cartridge end-of-life management
- 618 Downloads
Conventional wisdom suggests that product reuse can provide environmental savings. The purpose of this study is to first compare the environmental impacts of retail refilling and remanufactured inkjet cartridge alternatives to production of new inkjet cartridges, and then determine the extent to which consumer behavior can influence life cycle outcomes.
A life cycle inventory was developed for an inkjet cartridge with an integral print head using material composition data collected from cartridge disassembly and material processing, product manufacturing, and transportation inputs estimated from market data and the ecoinvent database in SimaPro 7.3. Although previous comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) studies for printer cartridges typically use “pages printed” or a variation thereof for the functional unit, “cartridge use cycles” is more suitable for examining reused inkjet cartridge alternatives that depend on the inkjet cartridge end-of-life (EOL) route chosen by the consumer. Since multiple reuse cycles achieved from refilling by a retailer was of specific interest, a functional unit defined in the form of “five use cycles” included the mode and manner in which consumers purchased inkjet cartridge use cycles.
Results and discussion
Cartridge refills present the lowest environmental impact, offering a 76 % savings in global warming potential (GWP) impact compared to production and purchase of a new inkjet cartridge alternative, followed by the remanufacturing case, which provided a 36 % savings in GWP impact compared to the new inkjet cartridge. However, results varied widely, even switching to favor new cartridge purchase, depending on how consumer transport was modeled, specifically the mode of travel, travel patterns (number of trips), and method of allocating impact to each trip.
Refilling an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cartridge four consecutive times provides the best alternative for reducing environmental impact for those consumers that purchase inkjet cartridges one at a time. On the other hand, consumers that purchase multiple cartridges in a single trip to a retailer reduce environmental impact more by transport minimization than by refilling. Results reinforce the need for more comprehensive inclusion of consumer behavior when modeling life cycle environmental impact of product alternatives.
KeywordsCartridge Consumer behavior End-of-life Inkjet Life cycle assessment Refill Remanufacture
This research was financially supported by the Golisano Institute for Sustainability.
- Aden JS, Bohórquez JH, Collins DM, Douglas Crook M (1994) The third-generation HP thermal inkjet printhead. Hewlett-Packard J 45:41Google Scholar
- Berglind J, Eriksson H (2002) Life cycle assessment of toner cartridge HP C4127X. http://www.etira.org/images/content/2003_LCA_Toner_Cartridge_Swedish_University.doc. Accessed 2 October 2010
- Brewer C (2011a) Retail Refilling Shops Are Alive and Well -- Recharger. http://rechargermag.com/Articles/2011/08/01/Retail-Refilling-Shops-Are-Alive-and-Well.aspx. Accessed 25 July 2012
- Brewer C (2011b) Retail refilling: not as big as expected, but… -- Recharger. http://rechargermag.com/articles/2011/07/01/retail-refilling.aspx. Accessed 25 July 2012
- Cartridge World (2012) Cartridge World - Guarantee. http://www.cartridgeworld.com/guarantee/2012. Accessed 6 November 2010
- Degher A (2002) HP’s worldwide take back and recycling programs: Lessons on improving program implementation. IEEE Int Symp Electron Environ 224-227.doi: 10.1109/ISEE.2002.1003270
- Environmental Protection Agency (2012) msw_2010_rev_factsheet.pdf (application/pdf Object). http://www.epa.gov/waste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw_2010_rev_factsheet.pdf. Accessed 16 July 2012
- First Environment Inc October (2004) LaserJet Cartridge Environmental Comparison: A Life Cycle Study of the HP 96A Print Cartridge vs. its Remanufactured Counterpart in North America. http://www.firstenvironment.com/assets/pdf/HP_LCA_12Pg_Summary_UK.pdf. Accessed 30 September 2011
- Four Elements Consulting LLC (2008) LaserJet Cartridge Life Cycle Environmental Impact Comparison Refresh Study. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment/productdesign/suppliesLCA_NA.pdf. Accessed 15 August 2011
- Goldey CL, Kuester EU, Mummert R, Okrasinski TA, Olson D, Schaeffer WJ (2010) Lifecycle assessment of the environmental benefits of remanufactured telecommunications product within a "green" supply chain. IEEE Proc Int Symp Sustain Syst Technol (ISSST) 1-6. doi: 10.1109/ISSST.2010.5507761
- Hewlett-Packard (2012) HP Press Release: HP Deskjet Marks 20 Years as World’s Best-selling Printer. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2008/080228xa.html. Accessed 23 July 2012
- Hewlett-Packard Company (2008) Material Safety Data Sheet CC640Series. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment/productdata/pdf/ij_cc640series_us_eng_v11.pdf. Accessed 30 December 2010
- Hewlett-Packard Development Company L.P (2008) Technical backgrounder HP 60 and 901 in. cartridge technology. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press_kits/2008/deskjet20/bg_inktechnology.pdf 2012). Accessed 10 September 2012
- InfoTrends (2011a) Infotrends forecasts growth in business inkjet market. http://www.therecycler.com/old-news/old-news-detail/?storyid=15007. Accessed 15 August 2011
- InfoTrends (2011b) Primary Research 2011 U.S. Supplies Recycling Study. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment/productdesign/suppliesstudyNA.pdf. Accessed 10 September 2012
- International Organization for Standardization (2006) Environmental management – life cycle assessment – principles and framework (ISO 14044: 2006). Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
- Kasuba C (2008) It’s not easy being green. Recharger Magazine. http://rechargermag.com/articles/2008/11/02/its-not-easy-being-green.aspx?sc_lang=en. Accessed 22 October 2012
- Laszewski L, Carey T (2002) Integrating environmental product design into inkjet printing supplies. IEEE Proc Int Symp Sustain Syst Technol (ISSST) 133-138. doi: 10.1109/ISEE.2002.1003254
- Ord J, Strecker T, Canonico S (2010) Developing a tool for routine carbon footprint assessment of printing systems. IEEE Proc Int Symp Sustain Syst Technol (ISSST) 1-2. doi: 10.1109/ISSST.2010.5507683
- Photo Marketing Association International (2004) Digital Imaging: Water-Based Inks and HSE. www.pmai.org/content.aspx?id=10376. Accessed 22 October 2012
- Pollock D, Coulon R (1996) Life cycle assessment: of an inkjet print cartridge. IEEE Proc Int Symp Electron Environ 154-160. doi: 10.1109/ISEE.1996.501870
- PRe Consultants (2011) SimaPro 7.3 PRè Consultants. The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
- Quality Logic Incorporated November 4 (2003) Reliability Comparison Study of HP Toner Cartridges vs. Remanufactured Cartridges World Wide SKUs, plus Excel worksheet. http://h20423.www2.hp.com/resources/pdfs/kr/ko/ink_report.pdf. Accessed 13 September 2011
- Rahmawati Y, Damanhuri E (2009) The usage pattern of ink printer cartridge and the recycle potential in Bandung City. http://www.ftsl.itb.ac.id/kk/air_waste/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/PE-SW2-Yeni-Rahmawati-15305074.pdf. Accessed 23 July 2012
- Roulston C, Heinrich C (2008) HP Planet Partners Return and Recycling Program Expanded with Authorized Retail Recycling Locations. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press_kits/2008/retailrecycling/FAQ_Planet_Partners.pdf Accessed 5 January 2012
- Staples (2012) Staplesrewardscenter.com®. http://www.staplesrewardscenter.com/SORC/UserManagement/Login/RewardsTerms5Back.aspx. Accessed 24 July 2012
- Stobbe L (2007) EuP Preparatory Studies “Imaging Equipment”(Lot 4) Final Report on Task 1 “Definition”Google Scholar
- The Recycler (2007) Cartridge recycling incomplete. http://www.therecycler.com/old-news/old-news-detail/?storyid=12708. Accessed 15 October 2010
- Walgreens (2012) Printer Cartridge Refills | Promotions | Walgreens. http://www.walgreens.com/topic/inkrefill/printer-cartridge-refills-info.jsp#7. Accessed 25 July 2012
- Weidema B, Hischier R (2006) ecoinvent data v2.2. http://www.ecoinvent.org/fileadmin/documents/en/00_summary_ecoinvent-v2.2.pdf. Accessed 22 October 2012