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Feb 062008
 

By John DeFore

Cartridge Depot, aiming to differentiate itself in a crowded field, has upped the ante in the business of refilling inkjet cartridges. They’ve announced that they will become the first national ink and toner re-manufacturers “to take direct action to save the environment” by planting one tree for each empty cartridge that is returned for refilling.

The planting effort will go through American Forests’ “Global ReLeaf” campaign, whose other sponsors include Ikea, Subaru, and Eddie Bauer. While individuals can participate in that campaign directly, buying one newly-planted tree per dollar contribution, the inkjet program will build that one dollar/one tree formula into each printer cartridge dropped off at a Cartridge Depot location.

The small company can use all the marketing help it can get — it has locations in only seven U.S. states (along with four foreign countries), and is competing against office-warehouse giants who have their own convenient drop-off bins around the nation. What’s more, there’s still debate over whether refilled cartridges can match manufacturers’ own brands in terms of quality. The only thing not up for debate is the fact that consumers spend vastly more money on ink than on the machines that use it, and that all those cartridges are a disposal nightmare that should go somewhere other than landfills, whether it’s to a refill/resale company or to recyclers for use in other goods.

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