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Bottles reborn as HP printer cartridges


Greenbang likes the cheery, chirpy government recycling adverts voiced by Jane Horrocks. “Recycle,” says perky Jane. “The possibilities are endless!” A nice antidote to the scary doomladen prophecies of environmental Armageddon that Greenbang is more used to.

Recycling a glass bottle, says Horrocks, saves enough energy to power a washing machine for 10 minutes. But there’s now even more stuff you can do with your recycled bottles: HP has made an “engineering breakthrough” — that’s what they call it — to enable the use of post-consumer recycled plastics in the production of new Original HP inkjet print cartridges.

More than 200 million cartridges have been manufactured using the process thus far. HP used more than 5 million pounds of recycled plastic in its inkjet cartridges last year, and the company is committed to using twice as much in 2008.

In addition to closing the design loop, using recycled content saves energy and keeps plastic out of landfills – since first piloting the process, HP has used enough recycled plastic to fill more than 200 tractor trailers.

According to HP, the amount of recycled material in an inkjet cartridge can be between 70 and 100 percent and you can even recycle the little blighter again once you’re done. Greenbang wonders how many times you can put inkjets through the recycling process before they give up the ghost? Or do they run on and on, destined to survive the end of the world with the cockroaches?

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