From ocean to office: HP turns 25 million plastic bottles into printer cartridges

By Ellen Daniel

With 8 million tonnes of plastic waste making its way into the ocean every year, the issue of plastic pollution has gained increasing attention over the last few years.

Many companies are taking action against the waste generated by single-use plastics such as coffee cups, drinking straws and cutlery, but a hidden source of waste comes from the electronics industry, with 126,000 tonnes of e-waste collected in the third quarter of 2018 in the UK, according to Resource.

Technology giant HP’s carbon footprint increased by 9% in 2018, compared to the prior year, with a growth in PC and printer sales leading to increased emissions. As a result, the company is scaling up its commitments to creating a low-carbon economy.

In its 2018 Sustainable Impact Report, HP is tackling both of these issues, with new commitments to sourcing the plastic found in its products from recycled sources.

In 2016, the company expanded its closed-loop recycling program to include hardware and during 2017 launched the HP ENVY 6200, 7100, and 7800 Photo Printers made from recycled printers and other electronics.

HP commits to ocean plastic recycling

HP has already sourced around 700,000 pounds of ocean-bound plastics, the equivalent of 25 million bottles, to create HP cartridges and hardware. The company has manufactured over 4.2 billion HP ink and toner cartridges using more than 107,000 tonnes of recycled plastic. This has kept an estimated 4.37 billion post-consumer plastic bottles out of landfills.

However, the company is taking this one step further, and has announced that this year, it is launching the EliteDisplay E273d monitor, the first display created using ocean plastics.

The company is also collaborating with NextWave Plastics, a group of global companies working to limit the amount of plastic that enters the ocean, to develop the first global network of ocean-bound plastics supply chains.

According to HP inc, it has collected more than 25 million plastic bottles to be upcycled into HP products, waste that could have otherwise ended up in the Caribbean Sea.
George Brasher, MD for HP UK and Ireland explains that the company intends to make recycled pastics a key part of its production process:

“We have invested in our portfolio so that recycled plastic becomes a part of our durable, premium products. Our business priority is to drive a more efficient, circular and low carbon economy and our advancements such as 3D printing are further helping to drive down emissions in the manufacturing supply chain – making life better for everyone, everywhere.”

Read more: World Oceans Day: How one startup is fighting plastic pollution


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