HP Rolls Out Eco-Friendly Ink Cartridge Packaging

The company says the new design is not only environmentally friendly but also will help retailers and business professionals conserve space.

Hewlett-Packard announced Feb. 8 that it has revamped its print cartridge packaging to help reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions being released into the environment.

According to the U.S. Climate Technology Cooperation, HPs redesigned print cartridge packaging will lower greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 37 million pounds in 2007, due to lighter packaging that reduces the total carbon footprint of each cartridge and the truck and freighter transportation traffic required to ship them.

The newly designed print cartridge packaging has reduced the amount of material Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP uses to package its contents by approximately 45 percent and also uses recycled content such as paperboard, which is easier to recycle than the previously used PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic.

"HP printing supplies are designed, manufactured and recycled in an environmentally responsible manner," Scott Canonico, manager of environmental policy and strategy for HP supplies, told eWEEK.

For example, HP inkjet cartridge multipacks are now packaged in recycled paperboard and use 80 percent less packaging material, which enables distributors to ship twice as many cartridges.

HP inkjet cartridge photo value packs are now packaged in recycled paperboard instead of PVC, as paperboard is more widely recycled, and use 10 percent less packaging material. In addition, HP has eliminated the interior packaging in its inkjet print cartridge tripacks, helping to decrease paperboard usage and using 40 percent less packaging material.

HP hopes that with the material reductions and utilization of previously used content, it will be able to eliminate 6.8 million pounds of PVC while also decreasing the amount of packaging in 2007 to 15 million pounds.

For the environment, this is the equivalent of reducing fossil fuel usage by 1.9 million gallons of gasoline or planting 430,000 tree seedlings and growing for 10 years., according to the U.S. Climate Technology Cooperation.

"As a company, HP has made significant efforts to optimize the environmental design of its products, to utilize clean manufacturing processes, and to provide customers with convenient and free return and recycling programs for its printing supplies," Canonico said.

With this redesign, HP is not only trying to help the environment, but it is trying to help retailers and business professionals save on shelf space. Because the packaging has been reduced, retail outlets are able to conserve space and HP can get its product onto three-high shelves instead of the standard two-high shelves.

"The compact design takes up less space in the office, making products easier to store and transport, while the reduction in materials means less packaging to manage after use," Canonico said.

"The HP packaging improvements are strong evidence that HP is paying attention to details and designing their products with the environment in mind," Nick Giometti, OfficeMax category manager for printing supplies, said in a statement.

Canonico said that the redesign can also benefit government agencies and education agencies by helping them meet "their own environmental goals by providing smaller, lighter and easier-to-recycle package material."

All new packaging is available now, at no additional cost, in U.S. markets.


Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news and reviews of printers.