Can somebody refill my Samsung please? Towards sustainable printers.

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The real deal and the copy.

Printercartridges. It’s an issue. As long as I remember, I’ve worked with these tiny (mostly HP) inkjet cartridges, both legit and copy. They classically run of of ink after.. .what?.. 40/45 pages?… and then I used to run to the nearest store to get a spare cartridge refilled, waited a week, was informed that it could not be refilled anymore, because … (1. too empty. 2. circuits burned. 3. whatever..) would buy a new one.. Meanwhile the spare I had put it, would ran out of ink etc.. etc… Looking back it has been a huge waste of precious time. Sounds familiar?

It has been a good move (especially since I’m working on a new book) to upgrade to a Laserjet: It has a huge cartridge, prints some 150 pages or 200… Now suprise! As it was running out of ink (as they inevitabily do) I went looking for a spare cartridge and found one for only 340 pesos or 25 dollars, which is quite cheap for Argentina. (It’s the second one on the picture). Almost the same as you would pay for refilling a tiny HP deskjet cartridge.

Everybody happy? Oh no, not mother nature.
“Just toss the old cartridge away”, the seller said. That’s not an option for me. I went looking for a place to refill the old one. Found it. 600 to 800 pesos for refilling the old cartridge with ink. What??? “Yes, the chip has to be changed too”, the sellers would tell me. So refilling a cartridge costs twice as much as buying a new one ! That’s what our buy-and-dump society has become. And, of course, it’s all planned.. or programmed.

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Great printer, no complaints.

By now we all probably now the printer manufacturers sell their printers cheaply and make their business with the cartridges.

Something like the sidesbusinesses of cellphone and camera manufacturers do with their batteries. Companies like Samsung don’t give a shit about recycling and environment. Governments do not force them to live up to battery or cartridge universal standards. But your regular customer (including me) would love to buy an EXPENSIVE printer with ETERNAL renewable ink. Like coffee in a coffee machine. I would make that investment. Who will build this printer for me?

Reporter. Writer. South America. Biking. Rowing. Twitter @argentomas. Recently published “Computer Crashes” on Air disasters.

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