The most wasteful product made Locked

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Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,463
The most wasteful product made

Inkjet printers have gotten really cheap. So cheap in fact that it is often cheaper to replace them than to buy new ink cartridges when they run out. The new ones come with "starter cartridges" with less ink than the standard replacement cartridges. Normally, the starter cartridges only last for a few hundred pages printed.

But a few hundred pages could last you for a couple of years if you aren't a heavy user. I currently have a cheap HP all in one printer (print, copy, scan) I bought around four years ago for $19 at Walmart. Last year I ran out of ink and bought two replacement cartridges for $45 ($20 for the B&W cartridge and $25 for the color cartridge) and these have a much larger ink supply.

I think the printer manufacturers are using the Gillette razor marketing method. Sell the machine under cost, then sell the replacement cartridges for sky high prices.

Well, my wife has a similar Canon inkjet all in one printer that ran out of ink, so I went to Walmart to get her some replacement cartridges. And, just like the HP the replacement cartridges were $45. And while I was there I spotted a brand new Canon TS3122 all in one inkjet printer selling for $19!

This printer had everything my wife's printer had plus one more feature. It has wireless connectivity, so you don't need to keep it three feet from your computer and use a USB port to connect it. So I snapped it up.

At that price, every child could have their own color printer. And that printer would be an awful lot better than the Okidata black and white LED printer I paid $500 in 1989 when $500 was a lot of money and it was the cheapest printer I could find.

This means her perfectly good HP printer will spend the next two years sitting in our attic before I decided to throw it out or donate it to the Goodwill store. There is nothing wrong with it other than it needs very expensive ink cartridges. This working printer along with millions of similar ones will end up in a landfill.

It might have been a good economic decision to buy another printer, but it was a bad environmental decision. And it explains why we see so many printers selling at Goodwill for $5 and $10. They all probably just need new ink cartridges, and their owners did the same thing I did by replacing them rather than spending $45 for new cartridges.

It would probably be better for the environment if these printers sold for $50, and the replacement cartridges were $10 each, but that would result in us keeping them longer and fewer new printers sold every year.

What is your take on this? Are we doomed to discarding perfectly good things into landfills for economic reasons, or is there a better solution?

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