Our report on the reusability of printer cartridges is published

We find the market is responding, but more policy interventions are required to enable 'circularity'.


On 28 February 2018, the European Commission published our report on the reusability of printer cartridges. The study is a detailed investigation of the European market for the sale, and collection for reuse or recycling of printer cartridges. It is an example of the growing interest in the gap between the aspirations laid out in forward-looking circular economy policies and the resulting EU waste management regulations.

Whereas existing regulations encourage the collection and destruction of products to achieve higher material recycling targets, there are few incentives to reuse and remanufacture components and products. The evidence from the printer cartridges market implies that the additional policy intervention will be required and perhaps that the forthcoming votes on extended producer responsibility will be important in this regard.  

We are grateful for the very many comments and written submissions received from the entire range of interests during the preparation of the study. The comprehensive response led us to conclude that the printer cartridges market is highly competitive, and that companies are responding reasonably to the weak signals for reuse developed by policy makers, but that substantial opportunity exists to improve circularity through subtle changes to EPR schemes.

The report is available here